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[" The Twenty-fourth was one of the best regiments ever recruited in 
Massachusetts." — AiuuTANT-fJENKRAL William Schoilkr.] 

Regimental Committee on History 

Charles B. Amory - John C. Cook 

George Hill 






thenevTyork I 

R 1926 L j 

Cou.vriKht, I'.Hi-. liy 




For the war to preserve the Union, Massachusetts sup- 
plied forty so-called "three years" regiments. Of this 
large number onh^ one, the Thirtieth, saw longer service 
than that of the Twenty-fourth. Whether recruited earlier 
or later, every regiment, except these two, was at home 
before the end of September, 1865, yet the Twenty-fourth 
and the Thirtieth lingered on till January and July 
respectively, 1866. Perhaps no regiment from the Bay 
State w^ent through regular campaigns in so many states 
as did the one whose record this volume embodies. Save 
for brief trips into IMaryland and Pennsylvania, as at 
Antietam and Gettysburg, the Army of the Potomac fought 
entirely in Virginia; the Twenty-fourth, counting its 
service in Boston Harbor and at Annapolis, is justified in 
claiming no less than six states as its several theatres of 
operations, for, in addition to Massachusetts and Maryland, 
were the Burnside Expedition to North Carolina, the long 
siege of Charleston in South Carolina, the winter's cam- 
paign in Florida, and the crowning trial with the Army of 
the James in Virginia. 

The book itself is in no sense a history of the war, 
seldom generalizing, never moralizing nor discussing what 
might or what ought to have been, but always confining 
itself to what the officers and men of this regiment saw, 
said, thought and, above all, did. For many years it had 
been a dream of the survivors of so many years of service 
that their history would be written, and one of their nnmber 
was long ago designated as historian, but nothing came of 
waiting and watching till in January, 1906, INIajor Charles 
B. Amory, John C. Cook and George Hill were appointed 
a committee to take the matter in hand, and to them was 

4 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

given power to act. After due "consideration and inter- 
views, they employed as the writer of their story one who 
had had some experience in such work. Sending out, in the 
month of INfarch, 3 906, circulars to all survivors, as far as they 
could be found, stating the purpose in hand and requesting 
contributions of everything that would add to the interest 
of the history, the work began. - The answers from recip- 
ients of the circular were of the most satisfactory character, 
so much so that in preparing the story it has been to some 
extent a question of what must be left out rather than of 
searching for material. 

Notwithstanding the excellent character of the officers 
and men of the regiment, very little had been put out in 
book or pamphlet form concerning it. The memorial volume 
of General Thomas G. Stevenson, printed soon after his 
death; "The Captured Scout," by Chaplain H. Clay Trum- 
bull of the Tenth Connecticut, published in 1869, detailing 
the adventures of Henry H. Manning, Company G, together 
with the privately printed sketch of his own military career 
by Major Chas. B. Amory, originally of Company F, and 
his Roster of Company I, of Avhich he was subsequently 
Captain, constitute the entire list of such matter till the 
issuing, late in 1906, of the proceedings incident to the 
dedication of the Stevenson bronze in the State House. 
Such scarcity of duly credited matter was not owing to 
lack of incident and collection, but rather to a widespread 
expectation that some other one Avould undertake and go 
ahead with the task. 

The framework of the history is made from the diaries 
and letters of General Francis A. Osborn, who had the 
fortunate foresight to make regular records of the daily 
happenings of the several years of his service. These have 
proved invaluable in the compilation. Covering and orna- 
ment to this substantial skeleton structure have been found 
in the reports as made to the proper authorities and are now 
published in the Official Records of the War of the Rebel- 

Preface. 5 

lion, along with the incident and anecdote as jotted down 
at the time by the active participants, and on request were 
forwarded for use in these pages. Especially valuable in 
this connection were the diaries of John M. Spear, Jr.. of D, 
of George H. Howard and Jolin Tliorne of G, and the 
sketches of active army life furnished by H. B. McLellan of 
A, C. P. Chase of B, C. T. Ford of D, Wm. E. Clark, A. H. 
Knowles and C. G. Robinson of F, James Armstrong of I, 
and E. B. Lyon of K.' 

The thorough drill and discipline to which the regiment was 
subjected resulted in unusual demands upon it for officers 
to serve in a detached capacity, and for officers and men 
for promotion in other organizations. For the latter purpose 
the Twenty-fourth lost no less than ten commissioned officers 
and thirty enlisted men, very many of whom attained high 
rank in their new organizations. The quality of the regi- 
ment's personnel is indicated by the fact that the following 
names, borne on the list of brigadier-generals from Massa- 
chusetts, Avere at first on the rolls of the Twenty-fourth : 

Thomas G. Stevenson, Colonel; Brigadier-general, 

December 26, 1862. 
Francis A. Osborn, Colonel; Brevet Brigadier-general, 

March 13, 1865. 
Robert H. Stevenson, Lieutenant-colonel; Brevet Brig- 
adier-general, March 13, 1865. 
Albert Ordway, Lieutenant-colonel; Brevet Brigadier- 
general, March 13, 1865. 
John F. Anderson, Adjutant; Brevet Brigadier-gen- 
eral, April 2, 1865. 
J. Cushing Edmands, First Sergeant Company K, 
Colonel Thirty-second Massachusetts; Brevet Brig- 
adier-general, March 13, 1865. 

Samuel A. Green, Surgeon, who ranked as Major during 
his service, was brevetted Lieutenant-colonel March 13, 186'), 
an honor conferred on only two other Bay State surgeons. 


jiccording' to Colonel T. W. Higg'iii.son in his "Massachusetts 
ill the Army and Navy." 

Tn addition to these instances of preferment during the 
war, it should be stated that others remaining in the State 
military service enjoyed recognition for many a year. 
Thomas F. Edmands, whom many have called the beau 
ideal of soldiers, and who came home in 1866, command- 
ing what was left of the regiment, w^as the commander of 
the First Corps of Cadets till within a very few weeks of 
his death in Augaist, 1906. Nathaniel Wales, who was the 
First Sergeant of Company G, gained the position of Major 
in the Thirty-fifth Massachusetts, and the brevet rank of 
Lieutenant-colonel and Colonel, becoming Brigadier-general 
subsequently in the State Militia. Captain John N. Partridge 
in 1868 entered the Twenty-third Regiment, N. Y. N. G., 
and, after successive promotions, became Colonel, holding 
the position some eight or nine years, resigning in 1894 
after more than twenty-five years of service. 

The rank and file that followed such officers were worthy 
of their leaders ; confident in them and above all in them- 
selves, they never lost a standard nor showed the white fea- 
ther for an instant. They were always ready for any exac- 
tion ; forlorn hopes never lacked volunteers, and when they 
fought side by side with other regiments, the latter had a 
sense of security in such proximity. The fatalities of the 
Twenty-fourth in the field did not reach the arbitrary num- 
ber, one hundred and thirt.v, established by Colonel Wm. F. 
Fox, in compiling his famous ''Three Hundred Fighting 
Regiments," an invaluable volume, productive, however, of 
more heart-burn than any other compilation of statistics 
extant. Yet, if the reader carefully follows the record as 
given by the Colonel, he may spare himself some bitter 
reflections, for it is distinctly stated there that many regi- 
ments not included in the list may have been better 
fighting organizations than some of those mentioned, for, 
through their careful handling or other adventitious circum- 

Preface. 7 

stance, the lives of the men were spared to continue the 
fif^ht on other occasions. The extreme discipline , to which 
the Twenty-fourth was accustomed was an absolute pre- 
ventive of panic or confusion of any sort, and with an array 
of officers possessing unusually cool heads and excellent 
judgment, and a most faithful and effective medical staff 
to repair the casualties of combat, there was no needless loss 
of life, hence the result, just a little under the aggregate 
assumed in the book as the standard of admission to the 
thrice one hundred, selected from the more than two 
thousand regiments in the Union Army during the great 

At this period of time, more than forty-two years beyond 
Appomattox, the great majority of those who made the 
splendid record of the regiment are afar from earthly 
interests, but the minority yet this side the final camiDing- 
ground, their friends and families as well as those of the 
many who have ceased from this life, are desirous of seeing 
in book form the story of the camps, marches and battles 
of long ago. Fortunately the liberal and patriotic policy 
of the Commonwealth renders this possible, even though the 
day be far spent and the crossing is near. In sending out 
the result of much comparing of notes, reading of letters, 
diaries and contemporary written and printed matter, the 
compiler has had the efficient aid of Generals Osborn and 
Stevenson, Majors Richardson and Amory and Surgeon 
Green in a supervisory capacity, so that only well-proven 
facts should find place in the volume, and to them for their 
painstaking services thanks are hereby rendered. Grateful 
acknowledgment is also made to all those who by the 
lending of portraits, views and pictures of men and places 
rendered the illustrating of the history possible. Among the 
many thus helpful should be mentioned those already assisting 
in other ways, with Captains E. F. Clark, James Thompson, 
Jas. M. Barnard, J. N. Partridge, Robt. Carruthers. Wm. F. 
Wiley,- Lieutenants P. E. Wheeler and Geo. A. Higgins, 

8 Twenty-fourth MxVSSAchusetts Regiment. 

together with Miss Louisa M., daughter of Lieutenant- 
colonel Chas. H. Hooper, and Adjutant-general J. C. R. 
Foster of Tallahassee, Florida, son of Major Davis Foster. 
In the same list should be included the names of Wm. H. 
Cundr of Gilmore's Band; Sewell S. Ingraham and J. H. 
Atwood of the regimental band ; John C. Cook, long Secre- 
tary of the Veteran Association ; E. H. Gilford and Samuel 
Willis of C; Thos. Fanning and C. A. Fitch of D; D. H. 
Cunningham and S. A. Edgerly of E ; B. Pettee and F. H. 
Bullai'd of G; AV. H. Austin, Peter DeLane, Wm. H. King and 
E. M. Tucker of I; Chas. E. Grant and A. J. Vining of K. 
Geo. W. Dickinson of Worcester has kindly lent data pertain- 
ing to his father and brother; Mrs. M. E. O'Brien of Boston, 
photograph and facts concerning her husband, the late 
Sheriff J. B. O'Brien; Miss Annie R. Spear, portraits and 
views ; while outside of the regiment and immediate friends, 
acknowledgments are due for favors to Captain Daniel El- 
dredge of the Third New Hampshire Regiment, Mr. James B. 
Gardner, Forty-fourth Massachusetts; John Gray, Twenty- 
third Massachusetts, and Captain A. F. Slate of the Tenth 
Connecticut. C. B. Tillinghast, S. A. Green and S. S. Green, 
librarians respectively of the State, Massachusetts Historical, 
and the Worcester Public Libraries, have kindly aided in 
granting the use of said collections, and the uniformh^ kind 
and courteous usage in the Adjutant-general's Department at 
the State House is gratefully remembered. 


Worcester, ^Massachusetts, November, 1907. 


Page H;i. For stfiUiiLT "(iuidi'," read "^'i(U■tte.■' 

Page 240. For A. .T. Vamey, rrnd A. .T. Viiiing. 

Pages 4S7, 4S<(, 4'.y.\. Fur Wm. A. Coiithoiiy, rend Wm. A. ('outlKiuy. 


In 1861 the New Eng-land Guard, a Boston military organ- 
ization, was nearing its half-centui^' mark. Organized in 
1812, for almost fifty years it had been one of the. best drilled 
companies in the Commonwealth. From the beginning its 
personnel consisted of the very finest material afl:'orded by the 
foremost city in New England, men who were capable of 
appreciating and, if need be, exemplifying its motto, viz.: 

"our nation's honor the bond of union." 

When 1861 began, the Guards, under the command of 
Captain Harrison Ritchie, constituted Company B of the Sec- 
ond Battalion of Infantry. In those days military spirit ran 
high, for war between North and South seemed imminent. 
Captain Ritchie having resigned to accept a position on the 
staff of Governor John A. Andrew, George H. Gordon, a 
graduate of West Point and an officer in the Mexican War, 
was made his successor. March 11 of the same j^ear the 
Guards became Company A of the Fourth Battalion and a 
new Company B was raised, Captain Gordon being promoted 
Major in connnand. Thomas G. Stevenson, who had been 
First Sergeant in the old company, was elected Captain of the 
new one, and Francis A. Osborn, Gordon's First Lieutenant', 
succeeded to the connnand of t'ompany A. By this time the 
fray had begun and volunteer regiments were forming or, at 
any rate, were in contemplation. The Sixth Regiment was 
on its way to Baltimore when Major. Gordon, mindful of his 
military training received from the government, on the 18th of 

10 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

April tendered his serviees to the (Tovernor and at the same 
time resigned his command of tlie Fourth Battalion. It is 
claimed that this protfer of the su])seqnent Colonel of the 
Second Regiment was the very first received by (Tovernor 

Toward the last of April, it liecame apparent to the 
authorities that Fort Independence in Boston Harboi-, then 
guarded only liy an ordnance sergeant, should not be allowed 
to continue in an unprotected state. The patriotism of the 
Fourth Battalion was appealed to in a recjuest that it should 
garrison the fort without pay, l)eing furnished rations ))y tlie 
State. The battalion promptly and cheerfully assented, and 
on the 2r)th of April proceeded to the fort and took charge of 
it. As senior otficer, Captain Stevenson was in command, and 
on the 4th of May he was unanimously elected Ma.jor, his 
brother, Robert H. Stevenson, succeeding to the captaincy of 
Company B. This promotion, by no means sought liy Major 
Stevenson, was accepted with reluctance, but his associates 
had sensed, as perhaps he did not himself, the preeminent 
military genius already indicated. How well he continued the 
excellent work begun by Captain (Tordon was early shown in 
the proficiency exhibited by his command in all its work. 
Nor did the merit of R. H. Stevenson, the youthful Captain 
of Company B, pass unrecognized, for his followers procured for 
him an elegant sword, which they duly presented, but it was 
surmised that the gratitude of the officer was considerably 
alloyed by the fact that he had to make a speech of acceptance, 
and while he acquitted himself with credit, as he always did 
everywhere, his admiring friends were all agog to hear what 
he might have to say, as action rather than words was known 
to be the Captain's forte. 

So far as known the unrequited services of the battalion 
in thus garrisoning the fort were unique, and really only such 
an organization as this could afford to serve for nothing, get- 
ting only its board in return. As a visitor remarked, "These 
young men are for the most part the sons of wealthy mer- 

Xew Exclaxd (tuard and Fokt Independence. 11 

chants in Boston, and on tliis account are inclined to ])e sensi- 
tive, fearing that the peculiar service to which they have been 
called will be construed as an indication of their desire to play 
the gentleman soldier and an unwillingness to be called into 
the tield, which is far from the case. ^ -i^ * These soldiers at 
Fort Independence are by strict discipline perfecting and 
inuring themselves in preparation for the real hardships of 
war and active service into which they ma^' soon be called.'' 
Many observers at the fort, during the single month of the 
battalion's stay, commented on the rare spirit of the soMiers, 
their evident desire to acquire all that could be given and the 
masterly manner in which they were taught by those who led. 
At the same time it would be unfair to these patriots, 
many of them still in school or college, to think that they were 
prematurely old or that they did not have their quantum of 
fun. This excellent story is told of a young Harvard man. in 
later life to adorn the bench of the U. 8. Supreme Court, and 
whom his father was to seek, after Antietam, in "My Hunt 
after the Captain." It appears that his fellows were giving 
him a butcher-boy cut of his hair and had clipped the locks 
closely from one side of his head when some one sang out, 
"Here comes the Doctor." Whereupon the man with the 
shears refused to work further. The greeting of " Boy'' and 
his merry ' ' Dad ' ' may be imagined by those who have read of 
the Holmeses, father and son. That Thomas G. Stevenson's 
was the master mind in this preparatory period no one ever 
questioned for a moment. Said a writer of these days, " He 
was fairly idolized by his men, and it is doubtful if any one 
less peculiarly- fitted for the position could have maintained as 
strict discipline." So strict and thorough were discipline 
and drill and so loyal the spirit of the men that out of the one 
hundred and sixty-one who were on duty at Fort Independ- 
ence in the spring of 1861, before the close of the year one 
hundred and sixteen had been commissioned and several had 
enlisted in the ranks. Out of the entire number, as stated l)y 
one of the members, all but fifteen went into the arm}'. 

12 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

From what stock these soldiers came appears when it is 
learned that on the very day that Captain George H. Gordon 
resigned one position and offered himself for another, ]\Iiss 
Hannah E. Stevenson, aunt of the subsequent Brigadier Gen- 
eral, Thomas G. Stevenson, in behalf of three hundred Boston 
ladies, called on Governor Andrew and expressed their will- 
ingness to go to the front as nurses if needed. Miss Steven- 
son afterwards went to the front and did good service in the 

The stay at Fort Independence, though of infinite utility, 
was brief, for on the 25th day of May the battalion was re- 
lieved and returned to the city. At this time comes the first 
mention of Patrick S. Gilmore in connection with the men 
before so many of whom his delightful strains were to sound 
in coming months, since on this day was heard for the first 
time the "Fourth Battalion Quickstep, "arranged by this prince 
of musicians and to whose enlivening air these men in the 
future were to march many a mile. C-omments by the Boston 
press on the appearance of the returning soldiers were of the 
most flattering character. It was generally asserted at the 
time that no other military organization had made so credit- 
able a display, and this was less than two years after the visit 
of Colonel Ellsworth and his inimitable Fire Zouaves from 
Chicago. The men could hardly have been accorded a more 
enthusiastic reception if they had been returning victorious 
from the field of battle. The streets through which they 
marched were lined with a dense throng, which manifested the 
utmost enthusiasm, applauding and cheering at every step. 
To the great credit of the discipline of the men it is recorded 
that all this excitement did not in the least shake their steadi- 
ness, nor cause any turning of the heads from side to side in 
recognition of friends. The Common was densely packed with 
crowds of people, consisting largely of friends of the men 
themselves, and here the enthusiasm was in no way less 
ardent than that accorded the battalion in the streets. 

Could the thousands who applauded the return of these 


embryonic soldiers have turned their sight to the future and 
there beheld what was in store for many of these gallant 
men, tears had blinded eyes that then rejoiced at the exhibi- 
tion of manly excellence. The shadow of a hundred battles 
was over that devoted band, yet neither man nor friend beheld 
it. Names of combats, fierce and bloody, as yet unknown to 
fame, through the deeds of these and others like them will 
"become household words for a thousand years. That ideal 
soldier who is the cynosure of all beholders, the leader, in so 
short a time will fall, star- bedecked, in the battle- whirl of 
Spottsylvania. Antietam, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie and Fort 
Wagner are also there. In the ranks is marching a col- 
lege boy, on leave of absence, who, often wounded in coming 
years, will be in the thick of the fight at Ball's Bluflf, York- 
town where he loses a leg, at Port Hudson, the Wilderness, 
at the Mine in front of Petersburg; always the bravest of the 
brave, he will come home to a few brief years of feebleness 
and an early death. How that great company had shouted 
had they foreseen all this as Wm. F. Bartlett passed! And he 
with characteristic frankness said this of his one month's 
experience at Fort Independence, "What have I gained 
during the last month? I have learned more military than 
I could have learned in a year in the Armory or from books. 
* * I value the Ivnowledge acquired in the last month more 
highly than all the Greek and Latin I have learned in the 
last year. * * I look back on the past month as one of the 
pleasantest and most useful that I remember." 


Amid such scenes and labors were evolved the plans which 
resulted in the Twenty-fourth Regiment, ^Massachusetts 
Volunteers. A significant name for the birthplace of a 
regiment is Fort Independence. No sooner had the New 
England Guard returned to Boston than ^Major Stevenson, 

14 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

the commander of the battalion, and Captain Osborn of 
Company A called upon Governor Andrew and offered their 
services as officers of volunteers, expressing the wish that, if 
he thought them worthy, he would commission them respec- 
tively, as Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel of one of the Massa- 
chusetts regiments. Profiting by the experience of some of 
the organizations already effected, they explained to the 
Governor the plan by which they thought they could raise a 
regiment which, in point of efficiency, should be second to 
none that the State might send out. They represented that 
there were in the Fourth Battalion from one hundred and 
sixty to one hundred and seventy young men of education, 
intelligence, ability and courage whom they had known for a 
long time, and whose capacity they had had a most admirable 
opportunity to study through the month's serious military 
work at Fort Independence. Thej^ were certain that from this 
body of gallant young men, they could pick out a select list 
of officers and that, in this way, they could form the cadre or 
framework of a regiment, leaving the officers thus selected to 
fill up their respective companies. In this manner there 
would be secured a homogeneous body of officers, all trained 
in the same school, who would be on the best of terms with 
each other and, for this reason, would work harmoniously 
together for a common purpose. Such a corps would have 
the further advantage of occupying a position which from 
the very beginning of acquaintance with their men would 
be one of superiority and would not be embarrassed by any 
previous relations of friendship or comradeship : relations 
which might make the officer reluctant to assume the strict 
attitude of command which his duty required and might 
lead the man to be impatient of the control to which he was 
bound to submit. 

Governor Andrew acknowledged the superiority of the plan 
and said he should be very glad to commission the officers 
at once and give them the authority asked, but he added that 

Ki:(;iMEXT Pho.ipx'ted. , lo 

the general g-overnment was calling for troops, that Massa- 
chusetts must fill her quota with the utmost dispatch, for 
wliieh reasons he could not then wait for a process so slow 
as the one proposed would naturally be. He did, however, 
offer the positions of Colonel and Lieutenant-colonel in a regi- 
ment which was nearly recruited up to the full number re- 
quired by law, but this was not satisfactory to the would-be 
officers. The regiment designated was made up of companies 
which had been gathered together, one in one town, another in 
another, the officers having been elected by the men. It thus 
stood in that very relation which was thought desirable to 
avoid, the officers already commissioned behag, for the most 
part, persons who had had no military training and had 
secured their positions, probably, from the fact of their being 
sons of the leading men in their respective towns. As a result 
of the interview, the Guardsmen retired, having thanked His 
Excellency for giving them the opportunity to decline com- 
missions thus tendered, and professing their preference to 
wait till the time should come when they might be able to 
carry out the scheme, on which so much time had already 
been spent and in which they had so much conlidence. 

Governor Andrew took the declinations very kindly and 
was profuse in his expressions of good will and his willing- 
ness to comply with the wishes of his visitors, whenever the 
exigencies of the service would warrant. During the fol- 
lowing months he received many calls from these young men 
with ideas; indeed one of them said, "We haunted the State 
House," always finding a hearty welcome from the Governor 
and from his staff' officers, especially from Colonel Henry 
Lee. Jr., of Brookline, ever the truest of friends, who 
entered into the proposed variation in the forming of a regi- 
ment with generous enthusiasm. Then came the offers of two 
more regiments, rare tributes to the worth of the gentlemen 
themselves, but still far from realizing the ideals which they 
had conceived; so again and again they declined the proffers. 

10 Twenty-fourth jMassachusetts Regiment. 

Their friend of the staff, Colonel Lee, recounted to them the 
fable of the man who, seeking a straight stick, went quite 
through the woods and was obliged to pick up a crooked one 
at last. 


However, there came a day when Fortune smiled upon 
them. The Commonwealth had filled her quota and no 
longer was in such haste for troops that she must scoop them 
up by the handful without regard to the best system of re- 
cruiting, and had reached the time when there was no call pend- 
ing which required haste, though it was evident that more 
troops would be required. It was August 31, 1861, that 
Governor Andrew gave the long-sought authority, and com- 
missioned Major Stevenson colonel and Captain Osbom 
lieutenant-colonel of a possible Twenty-fourth Regiment, 
Massachusetts Volunteers, giving them full power to select 
their officers, to name their positions and their respective 
ranks among themselves, and agreeing to commission them as 
they were designated. Though the day was Saturday, the news 
of the Governor's action spread like wildfire, and that night 
the Armory was crowded with members of the Guard seek- 
ing appointments. Already many of them had been men- 
tally chosen. Accordingly they were informed of the places 
they wer.e expected to fill, and were instructed to lose no 
time in establishing recruiting stations wherever they thought 
they could get the most and the best men, that the regiment 
might be filled at the earliest possible day. 

Monday about a dozen of these officers scattered to the 
different points of the compass and began recruiting all over 
the State. It is noteworthy that after the first two com- 
missioned officers and the Chaplain, every commission was 
dated September 2, thus rendering the question of priority 
a difficult one in ensuing years. Also, while the men will be 

Sept. '61. 

Regiment Outlined. 


drawn from all parts of the Commonwealtli, almost every 
officer is a Boston man. The Chaplain and the Quarter- 
master are from Gloucester; no other comes from any place 
farther from Boston than Salem. Out of thirtv'-eight com- 
missioned officers twenty-eight are drawn from the ranks of 
the New England Guards. The original roster of the officers 
follows : — 

(The starred names are tliose of former Xew England Guardsmen.) 
Colonel, *Thomas G. Stevexsox, Boston. 

Lieut. Colonel, *Fraxx'is A. Osborx, Boston. 

3Iajor, *RoBERT H. Stevenson, Boston. 
Surgeon, Samlel A. Green, Boston. 

Assistant Surgeon, *Hall Curtis, Boston. 

Chaplain, W>i. R. G. Meli.en, Gloucester. 
Adjutant, *John F. Anderson, Boston. 

Quartermaster, *\V.m. V. Hitchings, Gloucester, 

Company. ( 'aptains. First Lieutenants. 

A, *\Vm. F. Redding, James H. Turner, 

East Boston. Medford. 

B, George F. Austin, George W. Gardner, 

Salem. Salem. 

C, *\Villiam Pratt, *James B. Bell, 

Boston. Caml)ridge. 

D, *John T. Prince, Jr., *John X. Partridge, 

Boji^ton. Boi^ton. 

E, *Charles H. Hooper, *Charles A. Folsom, 

Boston. Boston. 

F, *Robert F. Clark, *Chas. B. Amory, 

Boston. Jamaica Plain. 

G, *Edw. C. Richardson, *All)ert ( Jrdway, 

H, John Daland, 

I, *J. Lewis Stackpole, 

K, *J. Crosby ^laker, 


Jas. B. Nichols, 

James A. Perkins, 

*Mason A. Rea, 


Second Lieutenants. 
Horatio D. Jarves, 

*I)eming Jarves, Jr., 

*Xathaniel S. Barstow, 

*Thomas ^l. Sweet, 

*Daniel T. Sargent, 

*John C. Jones, Jr., 

Jamaica Plain. 
*James M. Barnard, 

Chas. G. Ward, 

William L. Horton, 

*Thomas F. Edmands, 


Any one at all conversant with the story of the Twenty-fourth 
Regiment will not escape the interesting thought, as he reads 
the foregoing list, that he who bore the very last name 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

."^ - "^^^^^f^^^^?" * 


lor Co. It, Ziih Hi^iiih 

\'\\l^ liiTi^ 


Many times reduced. 


Sept. '61. Regiment Outlined. 19 

in the array, viz., 2d Lieut. Thos. F. Edmauds, came home in 
command of the regiment. Every name before his had been 
erased throiig-h resignation, expiration of service, or death. 
While Scriptural truth was verified in that the last had 
become first, there was also a suggestion of a later theory as 
to the survival of the fittest, with no reflection whatever on 
those who had gone before him. Other thoughts also were 
possible, viz. : that these officers, with the exception of five, 
were all under thirty years of age, so many of them in their 
teens or early twenties, that they came near reaching the 
minimum average of such organizations. Again, so well 
acquainted were they that the bickerings and dissensions too 
frequently characteristic of regiments in those days were 
practically unknown. They constituted a happy family, each 
one emulous of the other's good and, in a sense, each pre- 
ferring one another. Those classmates, "Bill" and "Joe," 
creations of Dr. Holmes's happy fancy, were not 
freer with each other's Christian names than were these 
young men, cherishing a common purpose, intent on advanc- 
ing their country's cause. However exacting and punctil- 
ious they might be when on duty, in their hours of relaxa- 
tion "Tom," "Frank," "Bob," "Will" and "Charlie" 
and other familiar appellations were far more commonly 
heard than the more stately terms to which their stations 
entitled them. When promotions came they invariably rose 
from the ranks of the Twenty-fourth. In only one or two 
instances did new men come to the regiment with commissions, 
and these were some time after the war ended. No dismissal, 
no court martial and no dishonorable act appear in the long 
record of these young JMassachusetts men. Though they had 
no horoscope, the words of Private Miles O'Reilly, yet to be 
written, might fittingly apply : — 

"Comrades known l)y faith the clearest, 
Tried when death was near and nearest, 
Bound we are by ties the dearest, 
Brothers evermore to be." 


Though the officere, as indicated, were drawn almost entire- 
ly from Boston, the enlisted men represented the widest range 
possible. Perhaps no regiment, through the entire four years 
of the war, drew its membership from a wider territoiy than 
did the Twenty-fourth. Even a casual scrutiny of the rolls 
will show all of the counties and a very large part of the 
towns given as the residences of the men. From the start, the 
character of the officers gave the new organization a high 
standing in the minds of the eligible young men of the Com- 
monwealth and, at no time in the ensuing years, was it ever 
shown that their confidence was misplaced. In this year of 
grace, 1907, it is not unusual to hear officers of other regi- 
ments associated wdth the Twenty-fourth in its long service 
remark, ' ' It was a fine sight when that regiment came out 
on parade or drill ; I never saw a nattier array of officers than 
those of the Twenty-fourth; they knew their business and 
every one was a gentleman." 

Recruiting stations were opened in various places, but a 
considerable part of the enlisting was done through young 
men to whom was held out the inducement of non-commis- 
sioned positions in the respective companies, though Lieut. 
Amory of Company F went down to Augusta, in the Pine 
Tree State, and actually enlisted a number of men from that 
foriner Massachusetts territory. Indeed, throughout the ros- 
ter, it is not unusual to find a name whose o^\^ler claimed 
Dirigo as his favorite motto. The seaboard gave up its sons 
in liberal numbers, and nothing in the sailing, rowing or 
fishing line ever lacked for help as the years advanced. Cape 
Cod was well represented, and jewelry-making Attleboro sent 
many ingenious sons, while the agricultural portions of Wor- 
cester and the western counties had an abiding interest in 
the fortunes of the regiment. In addition to the twenty-eight 
commissioned officers, there were nine other New England 
Guardsmen who accepted non-commissioned office in the 
Tw^enty-fourth, and nearly all afterAvards attained commis- 
sions in the regiment or were discharged for promotion in 

Sept. '61. Recruiting and Readville. 21 

other organizations. Some of these sergeants were especially 
useful in the recruiting way, and did much to hasten the 
filling of the ranks. Nor was all the good material exhausted 
thus, since potential officers never wore a strap or chevron. 
As private soldiers they did their duty, fought, suffered and, 
in many cases, gave their lives, quite unknown to the public. 
Men were here who had left the pupil's desk for the varia- 
tion of war, and Surgeon Green delights in telling of his tour 
of duty, through the hospital, revealing one of his boys with a 
Greek Testament in his hand and on the Doctor's expressing 
surprise, the lad said, " Why, I was in the Boston Latin 
School when I enlisted." Though the young man did not 
turn out to be a Dick Steel, yet he did make a good soldier 
and 'was one of many such who gave up their public school 
for that of the army. 


Within a few days recruits began to arrive. They were 
sent first to the armory of the Fourth Battalion in the Boyls- 
ton ^Market building, then standing on the corner of Boylston 
and Washington Streets, and which was torn down in 1888. 
It had been a rendezvous for troops from the 16th of April 
preceding, when militia, responding to the veiy first call, were 
assembled here after the filling of Faneuil Hall. Here they 
were examined by the surgeon, and if passed as suitable men 
for the service, they were sent across the street to a bathing 
establishment, where they had a warm bath and were given 
a uniform and a complete suit of new underclothing. Their 
hair was cropped short, and they returned to the armorj' 
already beginning to look somethiug like soldiers. 

The old adage about everything being fair in war applies 
even to enlistments, for many a man, in his anxiet^^ to get in, 
told untruths as to his age, those too young evening up with 
the old men who lied their ages down, and men with defective 
eyes found means of deceiving the examining officer. A cer- 

22 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

tain private tells the story of his rejection, several months 
before, when he essayed the First Regiment, being rejected on 
account of his eyes. However, when the Twenty-fourth was 
forming he met Capt. J. T. Prince, by whom he was intro- 
duced to Surgeon Green. When it came to the eye-test. 
Hospital Steward McGreggor asked him to read a sign across 
the way from Boylston Hall, which he did readily, for as he 
said, "I knew all the signs in that part of the city by heart." 


gju U^Qionj/nn^ _. 





"^f Cg gtein Co. (Zy 

One- fourth actual size. 


He got in all right, and put in three years of honest and 
useful service. Very likely similar stories might be told of 
other men who by devious ways secured the privilege of serv- 
ing their country. 

Each night a squad was sent to the camp, which had been 
established at Readville, in Norfolk County, near the Boston 
& Providence Railroad, and to which the aboriginal name 
of "Massasoit" was applied. One squad of four had a last- 
ing impression made on them through the double-quicking 
necessary to catch a train late in the afternoon. No sooner 
had they caught the train than their shoes came off, not to 
be replaced till they neared the camp, which they entered 
with the feeling that they were raw recruits in more senses 

Sept. '(il. Recruiting and Readville. 23 

than one. Here the men were distributed aniono; the various 
companies in which they had enlisted, and an oi^cer in each 
company began to drill and to teach them the duties of a 
soldier. Enlistments must have been rapid, for on September 
18, one of the field officers, writing to his home, remarked 
on the faithfulness of the officers, the respect and attention 
of the men with their eagerness to learn: "We have thus 
far by all means better men than I have seen in any regiment 
that has gone away, and a more orderly camp. Twent>^-five 
new men came yesterday, and they are even better, on the 
average, than those already here. Yesterday I made the tour 
of the cook-houses of the camp with ]\Ir. Pearson, fonnerly 
of the Revere House, who is employed by the State to super- 
intend the cuisine of the soldiers and to instruct the cooks. 
They were making a beef soup for dinner, and in every house 
but one, it was as good as I should wish for my own table; in 
that exception, there was too much fat." Surely little fault 
could be found where the regimen was prescribed by a 
Revere House manager. 

As the companies filled up and the number of men enlisted 
justified, the several officers of each company were mustered 
into the service of the United States. On October 2d, the 
number of men mustered-in warranting, Lieutenant Colonel 
Osborn was regularly mustered as the second officer of the 
regiment. As but few of the enlisted men had ever had any 
military experience, there was an abundance of labor in the 
way of instruction, and the officers were kept thoroughly busy 
in the work. In order that the drill might be uniform. 
Colonel Stevenson formed the commissioned officers into a 
squad, which he drilled daily in the manual and in the com- 
pany movements, while Lieut. Colonel Osborn took the non- 
commissioned officers and did the same with them. 

When the .regiment had acquired men enough to make it 
possible to have a battalion drill and the men had become suf- 
ficiently familiar with company movements for that purpose, 
a rope drill was instituted ; that is, ten ropes were taken, one 

24 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

for each company, the same being about the length of a com- 
pany front. The ends were held by two non-commissioned 
officers, the other officers taking their positions in line as if 
their companies were present. The drill then took place, the 
non-commissioned officers continuing to hold the ropes and to 
keep them stretched as far as practicable in the position which 
a company would have occupied. In this ingenious manner, 
both commissioned and non-commissioned officers acquired 
the experience and the practice they needed without having 

Puncil sketch by Lieut. J. M. ISarnanl, Co. G. 


their attention distracted by the necessity' of correcting the 
faults of their men and without fatiguing them by standing 
under arms while the officers were receiving the necessary 
instructions. After a certain number of drills of this char- 
acter, the officers were found to be so familiarized with their 
duties that it was thought safe to have all the companies 
come out on the battalion line. The result was very satis- 
factory. The men had been thoroughly exercised in company 
movements, and the officers had so well learned the battalion 
movements that this drill, the first one of the whole regiment 
under arms, was a remarkably good one, surpassing all ex- 
pectations. The possibilities of indifferent arms was early 
shown in tests of the Enfield rifle, which, at first, was the 

Nov. '61. Fort Warren. 25 

weapon plaoed in the regimental hands. When, with fixed 
bayonet, the latter was driven into the ground, and the gun 
pulled over and the bayonet bent at right angles, all con- 
cerned deemed the weapon defective, and were better satisfied 
when rifles of Springfield make were placed in their hands. 

From the outset strictest attention was paid to discipline, 
order and cleanliness. The first instructions that the men 
received on entering the camp were that they should always 
salute an officer when meeting him, to pay him respect at all 
times, and to be prompt in obejdng orders. They were 
required every morning to black their boots and clean their 
clothing, so as to present a creditable appearance on drill or 
parade. They were expected to wash their hands before each 
meal and required to have a weekly wash of their under- 
clothing. While seemingly of minor importance, all these 
items had great influence in developing a spirit of good order 
and a soldierly bearing, and they laid the foundation for that 
high discipline for which the regiment was noted during its 
entire career. 


In the last of August of this year, an attack was made upon 
the rebel forts at Hatteras Inlet, on the coast of North 
Carolina, by the troops under the command of General B. F. 
Butler. After a brisk fight lasting through two days, they were 
captured and with them about one thousand prisoners, who 
were sent North to Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, where 
they were confined in the barracks. Colonel Stevenson was 
ordered to send to the fort four companies under the com- 
mand of a field officer to garrison it. For this purpose, Lieut. 
Colonel Osborn was detailed and sent down, November -Ith, 
with Companies B, C, D, and I. At the same time there were 
also confined in the fort quite a number of prominent citizens 
of the North and South who had been arrested for alleged 
treasonable acts. 

26 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Among those thus confined were Baltimore's famous Chief 
of Police, Geo. P. Kane, and Geo. W. Brown, Mayor of the 
same citj^ both of whom had achieved considerable fame at 
the breaking' out of the war. Among Northern men were the 
Flanders brothers of Malone, N. Y., Robert Elliott of Maine, 
William H. Winders of Philadelphia, and many others. 

The character and quality of the prisoners made the task 
of caring for them a somewhat delicate one, so much so that 
some correspondence took place between Boston and Wash- 
ington as to the men to be selected as guards. Colonel Har- 
rison Ritchie of the Governor's Staff said the Twenty-fourth 
was taken because the officers were gentlemen and would give 
the prisoners a good impression of the Massachusetts volun- 
teers. Governor Andrew wrote a highly flattering letter to 
General Scott, complimenting the officers exceedingly, saying 
that they were just the men to whom such an important duty 
should be confided. 

During this period of duty at the fort. Mason and Slidell, 
Confederate emissaries who had been sent abroad, were 
taken from the British steamer Trent, November 8, while the 
vessel was on the high seas. The seizure was accomplished 
by Captain Charles Wilkes of the U. S. sloop-of-war San 
Jacinto. After a brief pause in New York Harbor, the pris- 
oners were conveyed to Fort Warren, and their stay there 
makes one of the most interesting incidents in the history of 
the fortress. Some one says of the confinement of the noted 
commissioners that the fat and jovial Mason and his lean 
and dyspeptic companion solaced themselves by unnumbered 
rounds of poker, and swore and spat, and spat and swore, to 
the great and increasing amazement of their orthodox guards- 
men. As the world knows they .were released by the govern- 
ment, and sent away in a British vessel, January 1, 1862. 

Varying versions are had of the stay of the battalion in 
the fort. To some it was monotonous and uneventful, the 
abode itself black and dreary, so that they were not at all 

Dec. '61. Keadville and Departure. 27 

sorry to receive orders, on the 7th of December, to leave the 
fort and return to the camp at Readville. Of course, the 
work was not what men enlisting for active service expected, 
and to the officers a continued stay presented little promise of 
promotion. Then, too, the regiment was separated, and the 
accommodations at the fort were not what officers and men 
desired. At fii*st, the expectation was that the stay would be 
for only a fortnight, or three weeks at the outside. So well, 
however, did they do their work that Colonel Justin Dim- 
mick, commanding the fort, would have been glad to keep 
them indefinitely, but as he was unwilling to have the entire 
regiment there, such a disposition was out of the question. 
Fourteen officers were crowded into four rooms, one of which 
was ased for eating and three for sleeping, so that privacy 
was out of the question, and the general clatter of conversa- 
tion, jokes, stories and discussions prevented concentration of 
thought on the part of any one. The enlisted men found the 
time not without its diversions, for when did several hundred 
men get together withou,t their jokers and pastimes? In 
spite of their being within a fort, those inclined to use the 
ardent had little difficulty in getting it, and one, a native of 
France, through his imbibing, got himself into trouble and 
for punishment was locked up in a casemate with only bread 
and water for food and drink. Of course his sympathetic 
comrades soon found that they could lower refreshments to 
him through the chimney, and Frenchy grew quite indifferent 
as to the continuance of his relief from duty. 


While the battalion was thus disposed at Fort Warren, the 
remainder of the regiment was attending to regular duties in 
Camp Massasoit. Among the pleasant memories of this 
period, none is more vivid than the presentation to Colonel 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Stevenson of a horse by his friends, the former commanders 
of the Guards. December 3d, 1861, he was addressed in the 

most flattering terms by these gentlemen, who extolled his 
merit as a soldier, his worth as a gentleman, and begged him 
to accept from them as a token of their esteem and apprecia- 

Dec. T)1. Readville and Departure. 29 

tion a horse* and equipments, the letter bearing the signa- 
tures of Samuel Swett, Geo. W. Lyman, Charles G. Loring, 
William H. Gardner, Richard Sullivan Fay, Alanson Tuck- 
er, Jr., George Tyler Bigelow, Charles Gordon, J. Putnam 
Bradlee, Joseph L. Henshaw and Harrison Ritchie. At a 
meeting of the N. E. G. Reserves, the sentiments of the letter 
were unanimously endorsed; signed by Charles F. Hardwick, 
clerk. Colonel Stevenson's reply, bearing date of December 
4th, -was expressed in terms of gratitude for the confidence 
reposed in him and for the praise lavished upon the regiment 
in whose morale he, too, had the sincerest belief. 

Nor were the men in the ranks forgotten, since it is on 
record that the mother of the Colonel sent out to the camp 
a pair of mittens for each man, a grateful present amid the 
inclement frosts and snows of winter. 

The time spent in the Readville camp was by no means 
lost. Energetic officei-s made it tell in the discipline and drill 
essential to their success. Then, too, the men were estimating 
their officers, the latter were discovering what they had to 
depend upon when the trial of battle should come and, best 
of all^ the men were becoming acquainted with each other. 
Some of the intimacies formed in those early days lasted till 
death ended them ; others are in existence to-day. ' ' Some of 
the recruits as they came into camp were sized up and rele- 
gated to different places in our camp-societs^ As a rule our 
first impressions stood the test of time; how we feared that 
the war would end before we could get a chance at the 
enemy ! How grotesque all this seems in the light of the fact 
that we were not mustered out, finally, till the 20th of Jan- 
uary, 1866!" 

*Captain James' Thompson says that this horse fell lame at Annapolis 
while his rider, Colonel Stevenson, was drilling the regiment. Thus 
incapacitated for service, the Colonel gave him to the then Quartermaster 
Sergeant Thompson, who passed him along to Captain Vaile of the 
steamship Guide. The latter took him to New York for treatment at a 
veterinary hospital, where his record ends. 

30 Twenty- FOURTH Massachusetts Regiment. 

After fully three months' experience in camp for a large 
part of the men. the period of activity drew near. Though 
the regiment had no definite knowledge, yet the rank and 
file understood that Annapolis and the command of General 
Ambrose E. Burnside was to be the ultimate disposition of 
the regiment. With the characteristic unrest of humanity 
the world over, all were anxious for a change, and officer and 
man, notwithstanding the pangs of separation from home and 
friends, were ready to welcome almost anything in the way 
of variation. The paymaster had visited the camp on the 
Saturday preceding- the departure, leaving many thousands 
of dollars in the hands of the volunteers, and the papers told 
the story of an early going away. December the 9th was the 
date set for leaving, and people interested in the regiment 
rose equal to the occasion. They were out in force and the 
soldiers ' first real test was coming when the moment of separa- 
tion approached. 

' ' So he marched away to the war, one day, 

To the swayintr bugle's song; 
So staunch and true in his suit of blue, 

And sturdy and brave and strong. 
'Mid the marching feet and the loud drum beat, 

And the ringing of the cheers, 
There was none to see such an one as she 

Who could not see for tears." 

It was a bright, pleasant day in early winter, with brisk air 
and a light fall of snoM^ Long train-loads from Boston had filled 
the parade-ground with visitors. At a little after 8 a.m. there 
was a dress-parade, which afforded a deal of pleasure to the 
beholders. Then, after wheeling into column by companies, 
guns were stacked, knapsacks and equipment unslung and 
suspended upon the stacks, while the men marched back to 
their quarters. There a little later, as if by magic, at the tap 
of drums, the tents fell at once, giving all an idea of military 
precision. At the morning roll-call, 1020 officers and men 
responded or were accounted for, thus leaving with full ranks. 

Dec. '61. New York. 31 

In the presence of the great crowd, assembled to see 
the soldiers off, they march by the right flank down to the 
cars, keeping step to the lively strains of Gilmore's Band, of 
whose presence eveiy one is justly proud, even if the same did 
cost the officere a pretty figure. One boy in the regiment, a 
Springfield lad, skulked into the last car. that he might there- 
by escape the eye of his father who had once kept him out of 
the service, and he expected the same parent was "laying" 
for him again, but this time, the slip was given and the boy 
became a soldier, only to die of fever ere a year had passed. 
The handshakes and kisses incident to such departure, the 
world over, Avere in evidence, but the inevitable separation 
came and, shortly after noon, the train moved off en route 
for Groton, near Stonington, Conn., where a transfer was 
quickly made to the steamer Cornelius Vanderbilt, which 
speedily steamed down the Sound towards New York. 


It had been expected to arrive in New York at an early 
hour and thus to have ample time to prepare for the march 
through the city, but a heavy fog deranged plans so that the 
landing did not come till about 12 m. As the Vanderbilt 
made her way along her water route, after reaching the vicin- 
ity of the wharves, there were great concourses of people to 
applaud the soldiers, and the public institutions of New 
York, located on the many islands, also afforded an outlook 
for a large array of interested beholders. At the 23d Street 
wharf, the regiment was met by the Sons of Massachusetts 
resident in the metropolis, who had been waiting two 
hours, and, headed by Dodsworth's Band, became the 
escort as the regiment proceeded through 23d Street 
to Fifth Avenue, down the same to l-lth Street, and 
thence by Broadway to City Hall Park. Gilmore's Band 

32 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

led the way, giving the vast assemblage of onlookers a good 
idea of what real martial music was. "The fine appearance 
of the regiment, the complete outfit of the men and their 
soldierly bearing, elicited periodical roars of applause." On 
reaching their destination, the men stacked arms and were 
given a breakfast, so called, though really long after dinner 
hours, while the officers were taken by the Sons to the Astor 
House for their food and to listen to speeches. To prevent 
unwarranted departures from the halting place, guards were 
stationed over the men, much to the indignation of some of 
them, who compared their condition to that of sheep or hogs 
at Brighton. The bill of fare accorded to the men is pre- 
seiwed and it consisted of a stew, wherein the potatoes were 
indifferently cooked, though the coffee was fine, but hunger 
being an excellent sauce, the most of the soldiers made a 
hearty meal. A second repast under the same auspices served 
ham, bread and butter, cheese and coffee and, "by working a 
little stratagem we got as much as we could eat." 

The parade was an excellent showing, though the day was 
warm for the season, and the men, being in heavy marching 
order, suffered from the unwonted ordeal. Some of the regi- 
ment had to remain on the dock as guards over the baggage 
left there, thus missing the pleasure of seeing New York in 
an enthusiastic mood, but there was compensation, since they 
were ministered to by good women, who, as one boy records, 
"brought mince pies which tasted good," a somewhat choicer 
morsel than his comrades were getting at City Hall. "A 
nicely dressed lady comes along with an Irish girl, carrying 
a basket of fruit, and she gives me two apples and two 
oranges." Again is the maxim verified that patient waiters 
are no losers. At 5 p.m. the baggage guards were relieved 
and went up to eat with their fellows, proclaiming the supper 

The New York Express, describing the reception tendered 
to the regiment by the Sons of IMassachusetts resident in 

Dec. '61. New York. 33 

New York, says, "At half -past three o'clock, the officers of 
the Twentv^-foiirth ^Massachusetts Regiment proceeded from 
the Park Barracks to the Astor House, where a bountiful 
repast awaited them. There were present a large number of 
ladies, who gathered in the reception parlor of the hotel, and 
were subsequently escorted by the "Sons" to the dining 
room, which was handsomely decorated. In front of the 
main table was a banner with the inscription : 




"Lieut. Colonel Howe presided, and he was supported on 
his right by General Reed and on his left by Colonel Steven- 
son. Among the guests were Colonel Ritchie of Governor 
Andrew's Staff; Rev. Dr. S. H. Tyng, Drs. Green and Curtis, 
^surgeons of the regiment; the Chaplain, Rev. Mr. Mellen; 
Richard Warren, Esq., and General P. M. Wetmore. There 
was also present a large delegation from tlie Sons of Connect- 

"While the people were yet engaged in discussing the 
menu, the President called them to order, saying that the 
early and enforced departure of their guests would require 
immediate attention to the second part of the programme and 
requested all to give their attention to the Rev. Dr. Tyng, 
who, as a son of ^Massachusetts, would wel-come Colonel 
Stevenson and his regiment in an appropriate address. Never 
was the famous clergyman more eloquent than on this occa- 
sion, as he paid a glowing tribute to the Commonwealth and 
her sons this day on their way to uphold the right. 

"At this moment General Burnside entered the room and 
was received with loud applause and, though evidently reluc- 
tant to do so, responded briefly to urgent calls, saying that 
he had come there to say nothing, that he was too much 


occupied to think of anything aside from business. The 
soldiers had had a good example set them by the Commander- 
in-Chief not to speak now. but to do their duty, and when 
this was done, he would speak for them, no doubt. 

"In behalf of the regiment, Colonel Stevenson spoke brief- 
ly but significantly, and then came another move in the scene 
when Mr. Charles Stetson, Jr., presented a handsome Ameri- 
can flag to the Colonel in appropriate terms, drawing from 
the young leader an appreciative response. He was obliged 
to leave immediately thereafter to join his regiment. The 
occasion ended with remarks by Quartermaster General Reed 
and Colonel Ritchie, who lauded the action of the Sons of 
Massachusetts in the day's doings, and proposed their health, 
a sentiment which was duly honored." 

Lieutenant Colonel Osborn, having in hand the prepara- 
tions for departure, could not go with his fellow officers and 
did not reach the hotel till the tables were cleared, and had 
difficulty in finding anything in the food line. Next came the 
march of the regiment to another wharf, where, divided into 
right and left wings, it was again embarked. Colonel Steven- 
son, having the right wing, was on the steamer Eastern Queen, 
w^hile the Lieutenant Colonel with the left took the Admiral, 
a vessel which the men were to know for many a month as the 
"Guide." Loading the baggage was so slow a task that it 
was not till late that officers and men were ready for sleep. 
The steamers left New York Harbor early in the morning, 
Wednesday, December 11, headed for Annapolis, Md. With 
smooth water, the voyage was a delightful one, only a few of 
the men being sick. Down the coast to the Chesapeake and up 
the same to the Severn river made a trip pleasant to the New 
Englanders, and it was due to end at seven o'clock in the 
evening of the 12th; but there are many things to be reckoned 
with in water-ways. The Admiral or Guide, with the left 
wing on board, after waiting some hours for her consort 
anchored, four miles from Annapolis, at eleven o'clock at 

Dec. '61. Annapolis and Camp Foster. 35 

night, and in the morning of the 13th saw the Eastern Queen 
aground, several miles awaj'. Accordingly the men on the 
Admiral were landed and marched off to their camp, while 
the boat went back to the relief of the Eastern Queen. In 
her efforts to effect a release she herself grounded, and two 
tugs had to be summoned from Baltimore, but even then the 
craft could not be moved, for the gearing of the tn,gs gave out, 
and not even throwing overboard the supply of coal suffi- 
ciently lightened the vessel. At last the men had to be trans- 
ferred to lighters, and so in the afternoon of Saturday, the 
14th, the right wing of the regiment made its way to the IJ. S. 
Naval Academy, which divides honors, in Annapolis, with the 
fact that said city is the capital of the State. Quarters were 
found for the belated voyagers and, barring a bit of quarrel- 
ing between certain of the companies which Lieutenant 
Ordway quickly settled, the men had nothing to do but eat 
their suppers and wait for the morning. 


Sunday, the 15th, dawned at last and, after a wash at the 
town pump, and a breakfast, the right wing got its belong- 
ings together and, following the usual amount of backing and 
filling, proceeded to the camp already established by their 
comrades who had gone before. This, known as Camp Foster, 
after General John G. Foster, commanding the brigade to 
which the Twenty-fourth was to be attached, was located 
about three miles from the city, "in a delightful spot in front 
of a wood and on rolling land. ' ' The camp was laid out soon 
after 2 p.m. of the 13th, but when the poles were sought for 
the tents, it was discovered that they were miles away on the 
Eastern Queen. But Yankees are not easily phased, so before 
making a trip to Annapolis for material, substitutes from the 
neighboring woods were tried and found to work admirably. 
"With pine boughs for caq^eting the tents were deemed very 
comfortable. Crotched sticks were driven into the ground. 

36 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

and with longer ones crossing them, with fires beneath sus- 
pended utensils, supper was prepared and the left wing got 
a lesson in r'eal camp life, while their other half was yet lin- 
gering on the shoals of the Severn. Near by were camped the 
Twenty-third, Twenty-fifth and the Twenty-seventh Massa- 
chusetts; the Tenth and Eleventh Connecticut, the D'Epi- 
neuil Zouaves (53d), New York and the First Massachusetts 
Cavalry. On the coming up of the right wing, the regiment 
was together again and with the highest of spirits was ready 
for work. 

The camp itself was on high land overlooking the city 
where in the preceding year clover had been sown. The men 
understood that the camp-ground and the neighboring woods 
were the property of a rebel who had left his possessions for 
a place in the Confederate army, so they were not at all par- 
ticular as to economy in the use of what he had left. A guard 
was maintained over the spring whence came the water for 
drinking and cooking; no citizens were allowed in camp and 
pickets were stationed regularly, though no organized hos- 
tile force was anywhere near. As soon as the regiment was 
united, men went into the woods with axes and soon made 
the trees disappear as they felled them and cut them into 
proper lengths for cook houses, stables, etc. Laying them up 
in cob-piles, after frontier fashion, they stopped the crevices 
with mud and thus made very serviceable quarters. Each 
company has a log house for a kitchen and the officers, one 
forty feet long for a stable. Many of the tents have evergreen 
surroundings, adding to their picturesqueness, if not to their 
utility. The camp is laid out in streets with great precision, 
each company having five Sibley tents; no floors, the ground 
being sufficient ; each man had a bed-sack when he left Read- 
ville, but few brought them along, on account of their weight. 
Those who did retain them went to the woods and found 
excellent filling in the leaves abounding there. Every tent 
has a stove and, with an abundance of wood, no one need 

Dec. '61. 

Annapolis and Camp Foster. 


suffer from the cold. While all get enough to eat, since two 
cooks are detailed from each company, the boys think the 
officers live high and provide themselves with, all the deli- 
cacies of the season. One careful chronicler m the ranks says 

Com. Sergt. Wheelyr. 

Sergt. Maj. Loring. 

Q. M. .Sergt. Thiiinpson. 

their breakfast was bread, cold meat and coft'ee, without milk ; 
dinner practically the same except that the meat is warm; 
supper brings tea instead of coffee with other items as before. 
Mothers' bovs, however, miss the cakes and goodies which 

38 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

formerly they had enjoyed. The colored people of the vicini- 
ty try to turn an honest penny by bringing in "snacks," 
which include pies, cakes, apples, oysters, roasted chickens at 
twenty-five cents each, and find ready market as long as there 
is money in sight. The sutler arrived December 20 with an 
array of wares calculated to wheedle the last cent from the 
soldier's pocket, and he too often succeeded. The writer, 
however, was not the only one who strongly resolved that he 
would not get much of his, the private's money. 

Notwithstanding all the work incident to the laying out of 
the camp, drill was had every day, lots of it. The scheme for 
the day was as follows : roll-call, 6 a.m. ; breakfast, 6.30 ; drill, 9 
o'clock, and 10; dinner, 12 ; drill, 2 p.m. ; parade, 5.30 ; supper, 
6; evening roll-call, 9 o'clock; taps, 9.15, with all lights out. 
Considering its origin and work heretofore, much is expected 
of the regiment and in no respect has the organization failed 
thus far. Naturally, the officers are jealous of the reputation 
of the Twenty-fourth and listen anxiously for any criticism 
which may reflect upon them, but they hear only the best of 
reports about it. As early as the 18th of the month, the regi- 
mental band, under the direction of Colonel Stevenson and 
certain of his staff officers, went down to the city to give a 
serenade to Governor Hicks, who had rendered conspicuous 
aid to the Union cause. Owing to pleasant weather and care, 
in every respect, the men enjoy a high degree of health. The 
first death was that of John Irwin, of Company I, who died 
December 18, after a short illness from congestion of the 
lungs. With the usual escort his body was taken to the sta- 
tion and, after a volley over the coffin, it was sent home to 
Boston, where it was received with militaiy honors. Christ- 
mas eve, a colored servant of one of the officers was accident- 
ally shot in Annapolis with no blame, save that of careless- 
ness, attaching to any one. 

Christmas in camp was a favorite theme with the corre- 
spondent and artist in the days of war. In the Twenty-fourth, 

Jan. '62. Annapolis and Camp Foster. 39 

there were camp duties as usual, and many of tlie boys had 
boxes from home whose contents they made go as far as pos- 
sible among the numerous occupants of the tent. It had to 
be a pretty large receptacle to make much of an impression 
on the more than twenty comrades who sometimes crowded 
the shelter. Christmas puddings, mince pies, pickles, wine- 
sauce, and other tid-bits are recorded, but the general ver- 
dict was that camp was not home by any means. The field 
and staff officers, however, made the day conspicuous in their 
annals by giving a dinner to a large number of distinguished 
guests, viz. : General Ambrose E. Burnside, General Jesse L. 
Reno, commanding the Second Brigade; Colonel Scott and 
Sweitzer of ^McClellan's staff"; Colonel Lee of the Twenty- 
seventh IMassachusetts ; Colonel Kurtz of the Twenty-third 
and Capt. ^Messenger of General Foster's Staff. General Foster 
himself was invited, but his necessary presence in Baltimore 
prevented his acceptance. The bill of fare would have satis- 
fied the veriest epicure, and there is little wonder that General 
Burnside proclaimed it the best dinner he ever ate in camp. 


The year 1862 opens with the regiment's taking its part in 
a brigade drill under the command of General Foster, who 
put the men through a thorough course, as some of the par- 
ticipants said, and at the same time many were impressed 
with the sight of five thousand men acting under one guiding 
mind and all acquiring the precision that would serve them 
well in coming days. One careful writer puts down the 
menu for New Year's and says he had four hard-tacks, a 
slice of cold meat and coft'ee for breakfast ; soft bread and cold 
fresh beef for dinner; boiled rice, molasses, soft bread and 
tea for supper; this food with a share from a friend's home- 
box containing cake, mince pie and pudding, enabled the 
young man to get through the day comfortably. Friends 
also send books and papers and the chaplain lends many to 

40 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

those who wish. Target practice is popular and some of the 
soldiers for the first time in their lives fire a gnn. The mark 
is discreetly set up at the foot of a hill, yet so wild is some of 
the shooting that the officer in charge remarks that he hopes 
no one lives on the other side of the hill. It is recorded that 
in this practice one man, accidentally or otherwise, shot a pig 
and that he and comrades enjoyed roast pork as a consequence. 
"With such opportunities, the exercise should have been popu- 
lar. Of the stay in Annapolis, some recall the most impor- 
tant event, as the drumming out of camp of a woman who had 
brought in twenty-five cans of whiskey; quite likely the be- 
holders had varying emotions. In startling contrast with the 
decorum and quiet of the ^Massachusetts regiments is the riot 
in a neighboring body from the Empire State, where the men 
in three companies rebelled, seized, gagged and placed in the 
guard house their officers, who were rescued by the men from 
another regiment who came to their help, all because the men 
had not been paid, a fault for which the officers were in no 
way responsible. 

January 3d brought pay-day and many of the men sent 
the major part of their receipts home to those who needed it 
there. One man, who got only $11.26, sent ten dollars of the 
amount to his wife and child, and in the accompanying 
letter remarks that many of the men are fooling away money 
which should go home to their families. Indeed, there is the 
record of several sneaking over the lines and securing a quan- 
tity of liquors, by means of which they and some others fetched 
up in the guard-house, as a rule the terminal of those who 
had much to do with strong drink. ]\Ien gel passes to the 
city, and with money burning in their pockets do their best 
to clean out the stores, and several thousand men in an old, 
sedate town like Annapolis came pretty near succeeding, 
though some of the soldiers complained at the prevalence of 
the Provost Marshal and the frequency with which they were 
obliged to show their passes. Some of the cheaper luxuries 
which the black people bring to the camp, our Bay State boys 

Jan. '62. Annapolis and Camp Foster. 41 

are learning- to like, and they sinof the praises of hoecake, the 
size of pies, which seems to fit their stomachs admirably. 

It was in Camp Foster that a certain lad had his first 
experience at standing guard, and he remembers the day yet. 
Having his instructions, as he thought, he paced his beat 
most regularly. Ere long two officers approached and passed 
him and, as he had been told to allow officers to pass, he made 
no objection. The officers came back and still no recognition 
on the part of the sentinel. Then both of the officers came up 
to him and asked what his instructions were. Being told as 
above, he was asked if nothing was said about saluting 
officers . "Not a word," was the reply. Colonel T. G. Steven- 
son, for he was the leading one, his brother, the Major, the 
other, took the private's weapon and gave him his first lesson 
in the art of military decorum, a lesson whose refrain is still 
ringing in the eats of the soldier. 

By the 5th of the month everybody is astir over the pros- 
pect of immediate departure. While all know that they are 
a part of Burnside's Expedition, of its ultimate destination 
not even officers high in rank have the slightest 
inkling, and some of them in their home letters made prophe- 
cies which proved to be very far wide of the mark. Never 
was Pope's aphorism as to Heaven's hiding from all crea- 
tures, the book of Fate, better exemplified than in this case. 
There was a vast array of vessels, and a large army of men, 
who were to fill those same crafts, which are to sail away some 
day, somewhere, but who can tell where they are to land these 
same warriors? It was on the 6th, while having a battalion 
drill, and men were firing blank cartridges, that the orders 
came to pack up and march to the city in quick time. This 
was at 2 p.m., and at 5 o'clock, tents had been struck, baggage 
packed and the regiment was in Annapolis. In striking tents, 
etc., everything was done at the tap of the drum, and the men 
left the ruins of cook and store houses and stables, which 
were burned. Seven of the companies went on board the 
Admiral, now the Guide, at once, leaving the other three 

42 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

companies, A, C and F, in the dock-yard waiting. There 
was snow on the ground, the air was icy and the men were 
suffering from the cold. Lieutenant Colonel Osbom, who had 
this detachment in charge, seized a load of wood, which he 
found near, and had fires built for the comfort and health 
of his men. Here all had to wait till 10.30 p.m., when a 
barge was secured to take the soldiers aboard the Vidette, 
which was found after a long, cold search in the darkness, 
and where all at last were placed at midnight, and glad they 
were for the shelter afforded. The men are quartered in 
better shape than the officers, who are not so well off as those 
who took the Guide. For the Twenty-fourth Regiment, it 
may be safe to call the beginning of the Burnside Expedi- 
tion this 6th day of January, when the ships were boarded. 


Even on shipboard, officers are still querying as to where 
they are to go, and still are guessing wildly. As the regiment 
is divided, the Guide and Vidette will have to be considered 
separately. It is one thing to embark and quite another af- 
fair to start. The Guide had more companies than in the 
trip from New York, besides the band with Colonel Steven- 
son and Staff. During the next two days the time is given to 
storing the baggage and waiting for other organizations. At 
last on the 9th, at 8 a.m. the anchor was hoisted and, at a 
given signal, in three squadrons, the vessels started down the 
Chesapeake, a magnificent sight. The weather is heavy and, 
on account of the fog, the vessel came to anchor at 11 o'clock 
that night. The next day, or the 10th, the steamer proceeded 
to Fortress Monroe, where the vessels in waiting accorded 
the new comers a hearty welcome, and at night General Burn- 
side came aboard. The Vidette had towed, all the way down, 
a canal boat (by courtesy, a "gunboat"), whose captain on 
arriving at the Fortress declared his unwillingness to go any 
further. He was put in irons and the crew, consisting of 

Jan. '62. Burnside Expedition. -iS 

four men, was taken off. She was laden with hay and grain, 
and, if taken to her destination at all, must be towed, having 
no means of propulsion of her own. 

January 6th the commanding officers on board transports 
received orders to the effect that a guard should be placed 
over the water, and that it should be used for cooking and 
drinking only, every one being expected to use salt water for 
washing purposes. A guard also must be placed over the 
galley to enforce orders and to see that the companies take 
their proper turn in cooking. ' ' A guard, under the orders of 
the captain of the vessel, shall be placed over the magazine." 
No lights are to be allowed between decks except by special 
order of the commanding officer and the captain of the ves- 
sel, and there shall be a general police guard under a commis- 
sioned officer for the preservation of order and discipline 
aboard. Commanding officers also received sealed orders, not 
to be opened till after leaving Old Point Comfort. 

The Vidette was slow in loading, and the Lieutenant-colonel 
of the Twenty-fourth had mauy a weary hour in his efforts 
to get everything shipshape. According to orders, issued on 
the 8th, the Vidette was to close the line of departing vessels 
in the brigade. Lieutenant Colonel Osborn comments that 
patience is as necessary a virtue in a soldier as bravery, and 
it is much oftener tried. "It is no small job to embark 
16,000 men, and we have met no more obstacles than I ex- 
pected. We are now lying in Annapolis Harbor, right 
abreast the Naval Academy, and are surrounded by steamers 
and sailing vessels belonging to the expedition." In gen- 
eral men and officers of whatever rank are not averse to leav- 
ing the capital of Maryland, which they proclaim a tumble- 
down old place, very aristocratic in its way, having no energy, 
enterprise nor sig-ns of life save those imparted by the sol- 
diers. "One of the shop-keepers told me that the army had 
made Annapolis, and my only difficulty in believing him 
arose from my wondering in what a condition of wretched- 

44 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

ness it must have been before 'it was made.' " * * "Slavery 
has brought its curse here and the beautiful land is blighted 
by its presence." The Vidette reached the fortress at 1 a.m. 
of the 11th, and took her place in the line of waiters for the 
final departure. Colonels Stevenson and Osborn improved 
the opportunity to inspect the grim old fortification, and 
then the Lieutenant Colonel with ]Major Stevenson and 
Assistant Surgeon Curtis visited the frigate Minnesota, and 
remained to dine. 

At 11 p.m., under sealed orders, the fleet proceeds to sea, on 
the lltli da}^ of January, still wondering what chapter of 
history is to be written by the men thus borne away from 
their homes. After the leaving of the pilot, it is proper to 
open and read the orders, till now unknown. The officers 
then learaed what all the world has known for the last nearly 
forty-five years, that the destination is Hatteras Inlet, that on 
arrival a pilot is to be summoned and, on entering, the vessel is 
to be anchored as far from the channel as possible. The versa- 
tile character of the Union soldiers appeared in the fact that 
many of those who manned the vessels were enlisted men of 
the Twenty-fourth Regiment. It was a motley array of sea- 
going craft that sailed out between the capes on that Jan- 
uary night, perhaps till then the most considerable armada 
that America had ever seen. There were more than one hun- 
dred vessels of all descriptions, including steam and sailing 
crafts, canal boats, ferry boats, coasting schooners and some 
passenger steamers. Few of them were in seaworthy con- 
dition, yet they were starting out to encounter the storms 
of Hatteras, the most trying portion of the American coast. 
Then, too, it was that time of the year when the worst storms 
might be expected, and they came. Many columns have been 
written descriptive of those trying hours between Capes 
Henry and Hatteras, but no description Avas ever able to do 
justice to the tribulation through which the cooped-up sol- 
diers on board those creaking vessels had to pass. How the 
steamers were obliged to part from the crafts in tow, how 

Jan. '62. Burnside Expedition. 45 

some of the vessels put out to sea for safety, and how others 
tried to ride out the storms while at anchor, — all this has been 
told many a time ; and if officers and men had concluded that 
Neptune himself had made a hard and fast contract wnth the 
Confederacy to do all in his power to render useless the 
efforts of General Burnside and his followers, it would seem 
that there was reason in their thoughts. Vessels were de- 
stroyed, carg-oes lost, collisions crippled many ships, and the 
landing did not prove to be the simple affair that many had 
pictured it. 

Among the many incidents of the trip men of Company B 
recall with pride the fact that when it was proposed to cut 
adrift the oats-laden tow of the Guide and the men on 
board, hand over hand, along the hawser, had reached the 
deck of the transport, they volunteered to go back and try 
to keep her in line during the night. This they did, and it 
is said that Burnside gave them $25 apiece for their deed; 
they were Privates Bly, Oldham and Perry. 

From the 13th to the 17tli of January there was little 
doing save trying to find room for anchorage, and to supply 
the men with the necessaries of life. As one writer puts it, 
"there are three times as many vessels in this harbor as ever 
ought to be," but the difficulty in getting heavy draft ships 
over the "Swash" delayed the massing in Pamlico Sound. 
General Burnside was as nearly ubiquitous as any one at sea 
could be. On the little gunboat, the Picket, the smallest in 
the fleet, he was off' and away constantly doing his best to 
bring order out of chaos. It was the sincere solicitude of the 
Commander, as manifested in a thousand ways to help all in 
distress, that made "Burnside" a name to conjure with 
among all those who participated in this expedition. In 
three days, the ships of the navy were safely over the Swash, 
but much more time was required to bring all of the trans- 
ports into the waters of Pamlico. By the time that the storm 
finally broke, or the 25th of January, nearly all the vessels 

46 Twenty-fourth ]\Iassachusetts Regiment. 

that had out-ridden the tempest were over the bar and ready 
for the real business before them. 

Meanwhile life on the Guide might be taken as a sample 
of what was passing on other transports, except that men of 
the Twenty-fourth were possibly a little better off than those 
on some other boats. General Burnside had chosen this as his 
flag-ship, and his wife was here, as was the General himself, 
when not cruising around the waters on his swift little "Pick- 
et." The prospect ashore is not attractive, only vast areas 
of desert sancl-wastes with the two small forts. Hatteras and 
Clarke, captured by General Butler and men in the preceding 
August. Guard-duty is kept up and, as far as possible, the 
formalities of camp life are maintained. Guard-mount is at 
9 a.m. There are three reliefs, each of which has two hours 
on and four off. Long tarr^'ing on shipboard does not make 
the men like it any better, and they are anxious to set foot 
on the earth even if it be shifting sand. In spite of the 
apparent desolation there are people on the shore, and of 
them, a writer says, ' ' Queer folks in this region ! Several 
hundred are scattered along the bar, who get their living by 
fishing, gathering oysters, wrecking and piloting. Most of 
them were born here, never saw any other locality and all 
are happy. There are women here who never wore shoes. 
The people seldom see money, indeed they have no use for 
it." For the first time in their lives, the men are conscious 
of the paramount value of fresh water. They are not stinted 
on drinking water, but they have to steal it for washing if 
they get it at all. The water-guard is kept at his station and 
is faithful. After all, the liquid is a distilled product and 
is almost nauseating to many. The capacity of the machinery 
of the Guide is 3000 gallons daily and she has to supply other 
vessels as well. They are out of range of fresh meat, and boys 
who never ate fat salt pork at home have to eat it here or 
cease to be carnivors. Hardtack is palatable, though soft 
bread is not refused if General Burnside 's cook hands out a 

Jan. '62. Burnside Expedition. 47 

The fact that the Guide had to furnish water for other 
vessels rendered the ship itself in some respects an uncom- 
fortable place for those quartered there. The main tank for 
the reception of the distilled product was in the gentlemen's 
cabin, and the steam incident to the process so filled the room 
that it was impossible at times to see across the cabin. The 
ration for each man per day was one quart, but this quantity 
was increased occasionally, through the services of a boy 
whose bunk was near the tank and who, by skillfully using 
his dipper, could fill canteens which were held over the sides 
of the steamer, to be cooled off in the waters of the sea. Some 
of the men were detected in stealing sugar and coffee from 
the quartermaster's boat, which lay alongside the Guide, and, 
as a penalty, were sentenced to go without coffee for two 
weeks ; but again the boy with the dipper and the boiling water 
in the tank came in, enabling the delinquents to get their 
coffee without the services of the cook. All readers may not 
know that schooners sent down from Fortress Monroe laden 
with fresh water had been kept back by the storm. 

The Vidette undertook the trip across the Swash, Sunday, 
the 19th, and expected to go over easy, since she drew half a 
foot less water than the stipulated eight feet, having thrown 
overboard a large part of her coal, but she was soon caught 
like the rest and lay there all day. In the evening, with a 
high tide, she got oft' and was nearly over when she grounded 
again. In the morning another trial was made and she finally 
pulled through, anchoring in Pamlico Sound, Monday fore- 
noon. The Guide was a larger vessel and did not fare so well, 
though to lighten her she had thrown overboard all of her 
coal, drawn the Avater from her boilers, and her men had been 
sent on shore. She lay on the bar two days and did not reach 
her consort till the 26th. Had not the enemy been stupid or 
blind, they might have rendered their defenses at Roanoke 
during this delay quite impregnable. Though the wind was 
not tempered to the shorn Union lamb, it seemed to blow no 
good to the Confederate foe, for in due time it appeared the 

48 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Eegiment. 

enemy had in no way profited by the mishaps of the fleet off 
Hatteras and within. 

Following the divergent experiences of the two vessels, it 
should be stated that the passengers of the Guide landed, Jan. 
21, and their adventures were novel enough to merit a special 
story. Naturally when the men were off the ship they im- 
proved the chance to pretty thoroughly inspect the sand bar- 
rens and the forts which had formed the objective point of 
Butler in August preceding. They found the fortifications 
small affairs, in charge of a small detachment of regular sol- 
diers, but the shells upon the beach were more lovely than any 
the men had seen before. One admirer wished he might pick 
up a ton of them, but he realized how impracticable shell 
gathering was to a soldier with a knapsack. Tents were 
duly pitched, but these soldiers were doomed to dampness, 
for, in the night, they were awakened to find themselves lying 
in the water, which M^as constantly rising, the hay and grass 
they had collected as beds affording them no protection. 
Again they were compelled to move after erecting their tents. 
The wind was blowing a gale, and getting tents up was no 
trifling matter. The wind forced the water still higher, so 
that at last, with water to their knees, the men marched into 
Fort Clarke in a half-drowned condition, and found refuge in 
an old shanty there. 

It was in these troublous days that, notwithstanding strict 
rules concerning foraging, certain hungry men, under the 
lead of their Orderly Sergeant, went out after food and suc- 
ceeded in finding some starveling sheep which they killed 
and brought in. Others captured some geese. When Colonel 
Stevenson heard of the event, he hastened over to the scene 
and reproached the offenders for their violation of orders, 
but his gravity was quite upset and his censure rendered 
futile by one of the men saying, ' ' Colonel Stevenson, it was 
not wrong for us to kill tliis animal. " " How is that ? " re- 
plied the officer. "Why," answers the wag, "he was so poor 
we had to kill him to save his life." On the 27th there was 

Jan. '62. Burnside Expedition. 49 

an inspection of the men ashore and three of the companies, 
under Captain Richardson, were drilled as a battalion. The 
subsidence of the water had left in a hollow of the sand 
twenty fish, which the men readily caught, and thus had a new 
kind of food. On Sunday, the 25th, there was a movement 
toward the first landing-place. .On the 28th .the band went 
up to escort the remoter companies down to a union with the 
other men of the Guide, some of whom had already gone on 
board, and this day, by means of the Pilot Boy, the Guide 
received again her complement of passengers. The remaining 
days of January were spent on shipboard with such drills, 
inspections and other routine as the nature of the case ad- 
mitted. The weather having moderated, and supplies from 
Fortress Monroe having begun to appear, life was more 

During that week on the barrens of Hatteras one of the 
most serious discomforts arose from the presence of sand in 
whatever the men had to eat or drink. Everybody expects 
to eat his peck of dirt before he dies, but no one thinks to get 
it all in one short sennight, but all went on board the Guide 
with the thought that they ought to be exempt from any more 
suffering in this direction. The cooks, when they made coffee 
for the companies, would find two or three inches of sand in 
the bottom of their kettles, blown there while the water was 
boiling. Baked beans could not be chewed, they were swal- 
lowed as the^^ entered the mouth, too gritty for chewing. Even 
the much prized mutton, slain "to save its life," proved to 
be only another method of inflicting sand on the stomachs of 
the consumers. No one of that battalion ever thought himself 
lacking in "sand" after that week of Hatteras experience. 

Possibly no better picture, in brief, of the trip can be had 
than that given by one of the officers in a letter to his home : 
"Sunday, the 12th, was a pleasant day and we amused our- 
selves by watching the barren shores of North Carolina, and 
striving to discover some signs of life, but without success. 
Nothing but a view of a waste of sand, relieved occasionally 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

by a background of pine barrens, with now and then a tumble- 
down, deserted house or eattle-shed, rewarded our efforts. 
Towards night, the wind became more fresh and the sea grew 
rougher. The captain did not dare to pass Cape Hatteras, 
which is always a dangerous point in the night, so he came 


Jax. '62. BuRNSiDE Expedition. 51 

to anchor. At daylight, we got under way again. In cross- 
ing Diamond Shoal, which lies off Hatteras Inlet, the wind 
blew a gale and the sea was so rough that I found my berth 
was my only refuge from sea-sickness. At first we thought it 
blew so hard we would not run into the inlet, but by follow- 
ing a tug that was placed there to pilot us, we (Vidette) 
reached in and anchored off the fort at one o'clock. This 
was Monday, the loth. Other vessels arrived in rapid suc- 
cession till the little harbor was thoroughly choked up. That 
would have done no harm had there been no wind and no tide. 
but the wind was a gale and the tide a mill-sluice. Accord- 
ingly when the tide turned and began to run in with the same 
velocity, all the vessels swung round with it and collided in 
all directions. We were near the steamer New York, nearly 
twice our size, which at ever}' turn of the tide threshed against 
us as if to beat us to pieces, and succeeded in twisting its chain 
cable so completely around ours that it baffled all our efforts 
to clear them for two days, until the weather moderated. At 
one time, when the New York was beating us on one side, a 
gunboat of about our own size came into us on the other and 
when at last she managed to haul away, another promptly 
took her place until we believed that we were destined to be 
crushed flat before they were done with us. * * * * 
"In the meantime, our water began to run low, and I was 
obliged to put everybody on short allowance, which produced 
much discomfort and some grumbling among the men ; quite 
natural this when it is remembered that the food of the same 
consisted chiefly of salt beef, salt pork, hard bread, potatoes, 
rice and hominy, all calculated to excite thirst. However, 
the securing of distilled water from the Guide and the getting 
of some fresh beef from a newly arrived steamer did much 
toward restoring good humor. The quarters for the officers 
are ridiculousl}' cramped, so small are they that at the onset 
no one thought it possible to get along in them, but under 
the prompting of necessity they have been found passable 
and even comfortable. Before leaving the fortress, a goodly 

52 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Kegiment. 

stock of provisions was laid in by the officers, consisting of 
bread, butter, chickens, eggrs, pickles, tea, etc., but the hard 
weather ran them down to short commons with the men. At 
one time butter gave out, and they were near despair till the 
timely arrival of a sutler's boat saved them from complete 
collapse. Subsequent months taught them how many seem- 
ing necessities could be dispensed with easily. * * We 
have been obliged to wash in salt water all the time, except 
when we could get from the engineer a little fresh, condensed 
in the cocks of his boiler, and, as we had no salt-water soap, 
we might as well have used sand. I should be sorry to pre- 
sent myself with the hands I am carrying about with me all 
the time. Only severe thirst forces 'us to drink the distilled 
water. Chess and whist serve to while away many otherwise 
tedious hours." 

On the 29th General Foster issued a general order con- 
taining minute directions as to the equipment and care of the 
row-boats with reference to landing; as to the armament and 
attitudes of the men themselves; as to the signals and their 
import and, finally, as to the prompt obedience every man 
was to render. The men were to carry three days' cooked 
rations and their canteens were to be filled with fresh water. 
On the morning of February 1, Companies A, C and F on 
board the Vidette reported present ten commissioned officers 
with 228 non-commissioned officers and men. One officer and 
fifty-four men were absent. Of those reported present and 
ready for dutj% twenty-four were serving under Colonel 
Howard of the IMarine Artillery for the manning of his boat 
and Mountain howitzers. 

Febiiiary 3d come orders from General Burnside to the 
effect that on landing, care must be taken that loyal citizens 
are not annoyed, that their property shall be protected, that 
wounded soldiers of the enemy and prisoners shall receive 
every care and attention, and that all the laws and usages of 
civilized warfare shall be strictly obseiwed. The fleet is lying 
at anchor about thirty miles from Roanoke Island, the object 

Jan. '62. Burnside Expedition. 53 

of their first attack, and all are anxiously expecting the signal 
for an advance. Only a few days before a schooner, loaded 
with wood and manned by seven men, came down from Wash- 
ington, N. C, and gave herself up to one of the gunboats. 
They report arduous etforts on the part of the people of the 
mainland to fill their military organization. One of the men 
had been in the army under Burnside when he was a lieu- 
tenant of artillery. The General recognized him and ap- 
peared to believe his story. On the 3d, a sailboat was dis- 
covered, evidently trying to reconnoitre the fleet. A gunboat 
started for the stranger, which at once made off in all haste, 
but was finally captured. 

February 4th comes General Order No. -i from General 
Foster, with directions as to the time of starting of the fleet, 
viz., 8 a.m. of the 5th, and the vessels of the First Brigade 
are to move in line, the Guide to be No. -i, and the Vidette 
seventh and last, a somewhat absurd location for a vidette. 
Extended directions are given as to the order of vessels after 
reaching Croatan Sound, the observance of signals, the an- 
chorage of vessels and the landing of the men, the formation 
after reaching land and injunctions against throwing away 
any part of arms or equipments. 


In the earlier days of the war, when Union victories were 
none too numerous, the name of this North Carolina island 
was a pleasant sound to Northern ears. It had associations 
with early American history, for every school boy knows that 
on this island, in 1587 was born Virginia Dare, the first child 
of English parentage born in America, but in these troublous 
days of February, '62, Yankee boys were intent not so much 
on studying history as in making it, and the results of their 
two days' efforts became choice reading to their friends at 
home. They had waited long, and with more or less patience, 
for the command which should send them against this for- 
tified portion of the Confederacy. Its importance to the 

5-4 Twenty-fourth ]Massachusetts Kegiment. 

enemy, and thereby its value to the Union cause, is well ex- 
pressed in the following extract from John S. Wise's "End 
of an Era:" 

The island commanded the passage by water through 
Hatteras Inlet and Pamlico Sound to Albemarle and Curri- 
tuck sounds. It was a most important strategic point, for 
a force of Union troops, passing it, had at their mercy several 
towTis upon the North Carolina coast, could cut off the sup- 
plies and railroad and canal communications of Norfolk, and 
were in position to attack that city in rear. 

The writer proceeds to state that his father, Henry A. Wise, 
former Governor of Virginia, had been assigned to the com- 
mand and defense of the island. The commander of the 
department, embracing the island, was Benj. Huger, a West 
Pointer of many years before (classmate, 1825, of Maj. Robert 
Anderson), one whom Wise characterizes as a sort of barnacle 
on the Confederacy, being far more a hindrance than a help in 
the progress of events. The Ex-governor and General, Wise, 
had done his best to render the island strong against the im- 
pending attack, but all his efforts were unavailing in over- 
coming the indifference of the Richmond authorities, Avho 
evidently took their cue from the ancient Huger. Through 
his arduous labors and exposures incident to his position, 
General Wise was, at the time of the attack, confined to his 
bed at Nag's Head, suffering from a severe attack of pneu- 
monia. No better description of the island itself can be 
found than that also given by John S. Wise : — 

Roanoke Island is shaped something like an hour-glass. 
Its northernmost half is higher ground than its southernmost, 
and the waters and wet marshes almost intersect it at its 
middle part. The engineers who planned its defenses • placed 
all its fortifications upon the upper half, bearing upon the 
channel of Croatan Sound to the westward. Not a work was 
erected to prevent a debarkation upon its lower portion. An 
attacking force, landing there, was absolutely safe from the 
water batteries, both while landing and afterwards. At the 
narrow neck of land which connected the upper and lower 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 55 

half of the island was a fortification, not one hundred feet in 
length and only four and a half feet high, mounting three 
iield pieces. This captured, every other artillery defense of 
the island was at the mercy of the enemy, who by that ma- 
noeuvre were in their rear — so emphatically in their rear that 
the vessels attacking the water batteries could not fire after 
the Union forces assaulted the redoubt, for their shot would 
have fallen into the ranks of their own troops. * * The 
command of the troops devolved upon Colonel A. IM. Shaw* 
of the Eighth North Carolina, althougrh my father continued 
to give general directions from his sick-bed. 

Such was the object of attack and such were the interests 
at stake in the movement now reaching a culminating moment. 
i\Iany times has the story of Roanoke been told by officer and 
man. No two men saw the battle and its incidents in just the 
same manner. To each description there should be added the 
garnishing of the individual, but naturally an officer high 
in command, writing for his own men, would be likely to set 
the event forth in proper light. This appears in the recital 
of Lieutenant-colonel Osborn in a home letter written soon 
after the stirring days themselves : 

"On Wednesday. February 5, we sailed at 9 a.m. and pro- 
ceeded slowly northward, the fleet in regular order, the first 
brigade leading the way. Just before sunset we anchored. 
At that time Roanoke Island could be dimly discerned on the 
horizon, about ten miles distant. The next morning we got 
under Avay again and moved up to within a few miles of 
Croatan Sound, which lies between the island and the main- 
land, and anchored again. Here General Foster came with 
orders for me to leave one company on board the Vidette and 
to go with the other two on board the Guide to join the rest of 
the regiment (Company C was left). After that was done the 
Vidette went on ahead two or three miles with the gunboats. 
In this position we lay all night. Friday morning, the 7th, 
the gunboats went into Croatan Sound and engaged a bat- 
teiy called Pork Point Battery, or Fort Bartow^ At the same 

♦Colonel Shaw was killed February 1st, '64, at Bachelder's Creek, X. C. 


Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Kegiment. 

time we received oi^ders to lead off the rest of the fleet, fol- 
lowing- the gunboats. We accordingly started, but a.s we had 
a schooner and a large raft in tow, we could not manage the 
vessel and soon got aground. All efforts to get her off being 
unavailing, we had the mortification of seeing the entire fleet 
pass us and go into the sound and anchor at a safe distance 
from the battery. We lay in that place all day watching the 
bombardment through our glasses with the utmost anxiety, 
but we were so far off that we could only see the flash of the 
guns and the explosion of the shells, without being able to 
judge of the damage inflicted on either side. ' ' 

War was a new game to these northern boys, and when, on 
one of the vessels, they saw an old man-of-war's man, scatter- 
ing sawdust plentifully about the deck during the bombard- 
ment, anon adding a portion of tobacco-laden saliva to the 
ocean, they made bold to ask him what he was throwing that 
stuff around for. With a contemptuous glance at the ques- 
tioners and an extra roll to his quid, he grunted out, "Some 
'er you fellers '11 be gettin' yer bloomin' heads lenocked off an' 

Feb. "62. Koanoke. 57 

we dou't wauter be slippin' 'round in the blood." His 
grewsome reply satisfied even Yankee curiosity. 

Again, the Lieutenant-colonel : "In the afternoon our 
impatience became unbearable, for we could see the troops 
landing in boats covered by the fire of our gunboats. A tug- 
boat came down to us just then and the Colonel sent me up 
to the fleet to obtain means of transportation for our regiment 
to the shore. Lieutenant John Anderson, adjutant of the 
Twenty-fourth, though a member of General Foster's staff, 
accompanied me to aid my efforts. This brought me much 
nearer the bombardment and would have given me an excel- 
lent \'iew of it, but unfortunately it had grown dark and 
both sides ceased firing. We procured two boats to go down 
in the morning, and Anderson and I slept on board of 
one of them. Early in the morning of the 8th, we started, 
went to the Guide, put seven companies on board one of the 
boats with the Colonel, while I took the remaining two on the 
other. The Colonel's boat being of light draft, proceeded up 
through the inlet and directly to the shore. My boat could 
approach no nearer than two miles to the shore, but anchored 
and waited for the other to take us in. 

"The regiment, as I will call the Colonel's portion, was met 
at the landing by an aide and ordered to advance immediately. 
They marched on, hearing volleys of musketry and cheering 
before them as they advanced, but before they arrived at the 
battle-ground, they were ordered to halt and remain in 
reserve. Immediately they were ordered to advance again, and 
soon heard the cheers of our men, and came in sight of a 
battery across the road which had just been taken. They 
passed through this and halted some distance beyond. It was 
then supposed that there were more batteries beyond, and 
General Foster ordered the Twenty-fourth, as the men were 
fresh, to move forward and take those batteries. They ad- 
vanced some three miles through a thickly wooded country, 
expecting every moment to meet the enemy, especially as 
there were half a dozen places where they might have made 

58 Twenty-fourth IMassachusettr Regiment. 

a decided stand. But the foe was thoroughly frightened and 
completely demoralized and ran for their lives, throwing 
away their arms, equipment and clothing as they went. At 
last the regiment began to receive prisoners, who came in and 
gave themselves up, saying that their regiments were entirely 
scattered. Hearing that many were escaping from the island 
in boats, across Roanoke Sound, the Colonel sent two com- 
panies down to different parts of the beach to head them off. 

' ' They found a great many boats at some distance from the 
shore, rowing for dear life, and brought them back by firing 
a few rifle shots, and secured 150 prisoners. While they were 
away a flag of truce met our advancing column, asking for a 
suspension of hostilities for the night. General Foster replied 
that he would listen to no terms but an unconditional sur- 
render, and a speedy one, and called for me to go to the rebel 
camp and receive the answer. As I was not there, Major 
R. H. Stevenson was sent in my place. He was absent a 
long time, and General Foster at last said to Colonel Steven- 
son, 'He is gone too long; move your column forward.' 
When the INIajor returned announcing the surrender. Colonel 
Stevenson marched the remaining companies into the rebel 
camp and took possession of it, with about two thousand 
prisoners, their arms and ammunition. Although our regi- 
ment was not under fire, it is entitled to no less credit, for it 
marched forsvard at least two miles in advance of the rest of 
the army, expecting at every turn of the road to come upon 
the rebels in full force, and behind batteries which General 
Foster had been told they had built, and though no such bat- 
teries existed, it does not lessen the merit of our men in going 
to the intended attack. 

"Had the rebels chosen to dispute our passage up the isl- 
and, they would have been conquered ultimately, it is true, 
but with a proper display of courage and military skill, they 
would have caused us a fearful loss and made us pay dearly 
for our victory, crippling us completely for future action, till 
we could receive reinforcements from the North. But to 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 59 

return to my own movements ! The same boat which took 
the Colonel and his part of the regiment to the shore landed 
me and mine aftei'^vards. The landing place was very swampy 
and we were obliged to march about two hundred yards, 
through mud and water, at times up to the knees before get- 
ting to dry ground. Just then General Burnside came along 
and told me to take my companies back to the landing and get 
boxes of ammunition to be carried to the head of the column, 
then about two miles off. This was a grievous disappointment 
to me, for I could hear volleys of musketry and cheers, and I 
thought that the Twenty-fourth was, or soon would be en- 
gaged, and I could not bear the idea that the regiment should 
get into action in my absence. AYe were delayed two hours 
before rebeginning the march and. in the meantime, the troops 
had taken the battery and gone forward. We marched slow- 
ly, as the boxes %vere very hea^y, and we were a long time in 
getting to the battery, which was foimd filled with our troops 
and the killed and wounded of the enemy. We were told here 
that our regiment had pressed forward to take more batteries 
Which were beyond, and we followed on, hearing of them con- 
stantly from stragglers on the road and hoping to overtake 
them at every turn. But they were marching rapidly, and 
our progress was necessarily slow, so that we never caught 
them. ' ' 

Aimnunition carrying on that day at Roanoke will never 
flee the memory of those who had a part in it. One veteran of 
E, after all these days, says the energy absorbed in his nine 
miles' carry he still laments. "Just think of a box with 1000 
rounds, 100 pounds for two of us to tote, suspended by our 
gun straps and from the guns themselves, one bearer walking 
before the other, we trudged along, the load growing heavier 
every step. Then, too, we let go by us a negro boy and his 
cow which we might have used to bear the burden and have 
eaten her for supper had we not been appalled by the order 
read off in our hearing threatening those who even looked at 
live stock in the enemy's possession, but we got better of that 
after a while. When we reached the lines the rebels had sur- 

60 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

rendered and the cartridges were not needed after all. Private 
Harrison Currier, Company F, never over strong, was so 
weakened by this day's work that he never recovered and, 
though he kept about for a time, when the start for Newbern 
was made, he was put aboard the Vidette, not to leave her 
in life, for when the attack began on the fortifications, his 
spirit passed. 

Lieut. -colonel Osborn continues: "Towards night we met 
General Foster returning, who told us that the rebels had 
surrendered and that the island is ours. This was glorious 
news, and we welcomed it with rousing cheers. My party by 
this time had straggled badly, and when we reached the camp 
long after dark, I had only a few with me. Some came in 
afterwards, but most got quarters on the road, and came in 
the next day. We were fearfully tired from the march, hav- 
ing been on shipboard without exercise for the five preceding 
weeks, and we were not sustained by the excitement which 
animated those who expected to meet the enemy. Our men 
were found in possession of very good wooden barracks, built 
by the Secesh, and making themselves as comfortable as pos- 
sible. The Twenty-fourth was on guard, as the others had 
been up all the preceding night while ours were on shipboard. 
Besides the prisoners we had taken, the Second Brigade 
under General Reno had taken some shore batteries in the 
rear and a thousand men, making, on an accurate count, 2800 
men, including 180 commissioned officers. This will be 
enough in an exchange to release all that the enemy have 
taken and hold of our men, including Colonel William R. 
Lee, and the other officers of the Twentieth Massachusetts 
captured at Ball's Bluff. Thus we have realized one of our 
dearest wishes that the Twenty-fourth might be instrumental 
in releasing our own friends. ' ' 


The steamer Admiral, with the Twenty-fourth Regiment 
on board, having got aground on the afternoon of February 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 61 

7, the regiment was -not landed till the morning- of the 8th. 
At 7 o'clock in the morning, the steamers Union and Eagle 
came alongside the Admiral and took the troops on board. 
Two companies. A, Captain Reeding, and E, Captain Hooper, 
were put on board the Eagle, under command of Lieutenant- 
colonel Osborn, and seven companies on the Union under com- 
mand of myself. Company C, Captain Pratt, had been de- 
tailed for service on the gunboat Vidette, where it remained 
during the action. The Union landed the troops on board at 
the same place the troops had been landed the night previous, 
and about two miles below where the action was taking place. 
After landing I was ordered by General Burnside to advance 
as rapidly as possible. I accordingly marched the regiment 
forward, but unfortunately arrived after the battery had been 
carried. On arriving at the captured fort, I reported to 
General Foster, who ordered us to the front to follow up the 

After marching some distance, we met the Fifty-first 
New York and continued with them, till we were halted at 
the sand hills. From this point we were ordered forward 
alone to take what prisoner we could, as many were reported 
to be leaving in small boats. We were accompanied by Gen- 
eral Foster. After marching about three miles -we were met 
by a flag of truce from the enemy, proposing a suspension of 
hostilities till the following morning. The reply was given by 
General Foster, "Unconditional surrender," and time enough 
given to return to their camp and send back an answer. 
Major Stevenson* of the Twenty-fourth was ordered to return 

*After Major Stevenson's interview with Colonel Shaw, the command- 
er, he started on his return, passing through a company of Confederate 
officers who were standing near Shaw's quarters. ()ne of them, IMajor 
George Williamson of the 8th N. C, asked Major S. to take his horse to 
ride back. This he did and after the formal surrender, the Ccmfederate 
was looked up and his steed returned, but the otticer said he could not 
keep him, under the circumstances, and requested ^Nlajor Stevenson to 
retain him, as he was a well-bred animal, one of his own rearing and lie 
would like to feel that he was well treated. At first the Major was un- 
certain as to the propriety of his accepting such a gift and l)ore the mat- 
ter to General Burnside, who assured him that as the proffer was, in ef- 
fect, made before the surrender, there could be no fault in his accepting 
the gift. Thus acquired, the horse was used by the officer till the end of 
his service, and when the war was over, he thought it would be a proper 
thing for him to look up his Confederate friend and ofter the animal 
back again. Through the Governor of North Carolina the address of the 
Major was secured and the proffer made. Very soon there came back a 
letter from the southern gentleman indicating his gratitude for the generous 


with the flag and to bring back the reply. After some time 
he returned with the reply that they surrendered. I was 
then ordered by General Foster to advance and take posses- 
sion of their camp. On the way, Company H, Captain Da- 
land, and Company B, Captain Austin, were detached and 
ordered to proceed along the shore and to stop any boats that 
might be leaving with rebels. The remaining five companies, 
numbering about 300 men, entered their camp, where Colonel 
Shaw, commanding, delivered up his sword to General Foster, 
who ordered me to take command. I then ordered the pris- 
oners to be mustered and their arms to be taken possession of. 
All the muskets were placed in the quartermaster's building 
and a guard put over them. While this was being done. Pri- 
vate Sanborn, Company K, was wounded in the arm by the 
accidental discharge of one of the muskets. The officers were 
allowed to retain their sidearms by order of General Foster. 
The prisoners were then placed in quarters and a large guard 
placed over them. 

Company B returned from their scouting, having fired 
upon and brought to, a boat containing ten rebels, including 
three officers. Company H also returned, having captured 
two boats containing nine men and two officers. They also 
brought in about 150 prisoners captured in the woods and on 
the shore. The regiment was joined during the evening by 
the two companies under Lieutenant-colonel Osborn. They 
had been emploved in bringing ammunition forward from the 
landing. (R. R." Vol. IX, p. 94.) 

Such were the impressions and observations of men who 
had the responsibility of command. It is equally interesting 
to turn to the words of those who followed or went as they 
were bidden. Happily some of the letters have also been pre- 
served, and from those of Private Edgar B. Lyon of Company 
K, the following passages are taken ; the first letter, addressed 
,to father and mother, bears date February 12 : — 

proposition, but saying tliat the war had ruined him and he was too poor 
to maintain the liorse, much as he vahied him. He suggested that the 
steed l>e sold and the pnjceeds sent to him. In his letter he expressed a 
wisli that he might i>ublish Major Stevenson's letter as a means to sooner 
l)ring about the i)eat'eful sentiment which he desired l)etweeii North and 
South. Our northern otticer acted on the suggestion of the southei^n and 
remitted to him the sum resulting from the sale of the horse. Need the 
world wonder that the bloody chasm twixt North and South was at last 
healed when such acts of kindness were possible? 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 63 

I suppose you have heard of our great success, and are 
anxious to hear from me. All the men left their knapsacks 
aboard the boat and my paper is in my knapsack, or I should 
tiave written you a long letter. I borrowed this paper and 
thought I would write you a few lines, that you might know 
that I am alive and well. I haven't time to write all the 
particulars, and it would take three or four sheets of paper. 
We have captured more prisoners with less fighting than any 
engagement yet. * * * "When we got within one half mile 
of the rebel camp we were met by a flag of truce asking for 
terms of surrender. Our Colonel Stevenson would hear to 
nothing but unconditional surrender or fight, and the rebel 
Colonel Shaw wisely consented to the former. There were 
from 2500 to 3000 prisoners, with all their arms and ammuni- 
tion, and two large camps with a large amount of provisions, 
and the whole island with all its forts, surrendered to the 
Twenty-fourth ]\Iassaehusetts Volunteers without the loss of 
a single life from our regiment. Was not that a big thing? 
* * * The mail is expected to go aboard the steamer any 
minute, so I will close to make sure that this goes by the first 
mail. From your affectionate son. 

On Sunday, February 16th, Private Lyon, filially inclined, 
again writes to the folks at home, giving more particulars: — 

I have just returned from services, and as I have no 
better business, I thought I could do no better than write to 
you the particulars of what the Burnside Expedition has 
done and why we did it, etc. * * * I have got my knapsack 
from the boat, so I have paper enough to write all about our 
adventures. We are pleasantly situated in one of the rebel 
camps; there are two near each other, the Twenty-third and 
the Twenty-fifth ]Massachusetts are in the same camp with us. 
There are about fifty buildings, in all, in this camp, including 
officers' quarters, barracks, stables, cookhouses, etc. The 
other camp is about as large with 800 prisoners in it. We 
have in our camp 3000 prisoners. There are about 200 fam- 
ilies on the island, but most of the men folks are taken pris- 
oners; most of the prisoners are North Carolina men. There 
is one company of ]\IcCulloch Rangers and another of Rich- 
mond Blues, that are well uniformed ; the others wear all sorts 
of clothes. It doesn't seem as though they were prisoners, for 
they are around amongst us and we among them, talking to- 

64 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

gether and entering into different kinds of amnsements, such 
as leap-frog-, boxing, wrestling, etc., just as though we were 
all one. They are vei';^" sociable, and say we are a different 
people from what they thought we were. Thy had an idea 
that we were a set of cut throats and robbers, and they ex- 
pected to be treated very badly, but they now say they are 
used better than they were before they were taken. They 
have the same fare that we do. The Virginia soldiers talk 
hard of the North and would go to fighting again if exchanged, 
but the North Carolina men are as contented as they could 
wish. They are now signing a parole, agreeing not to take up 
arms against the government unless exchanged. They are 
glad that they are going home and a number told me to-dav 
they should not fight again. ]Most of the rebs were armed 
to the teeth ^vith dirks, revolvers, everything else that could 
injure a person. Many of them threw away these weapons or 
buried them, but we have found a large quantity of them. I 
found an old dirk, not good for much, but I keep it as a rebel 
trophy. The rebs had been encamped here about six months, 
and they had everything complete in the shape of cooking 
utensils, so we boys got a lot of spiders, pans, plates, pails, 
etc. I think I am getting fat. While the rebel provisions 
lasted, we lived on griddle-cakes and flour bread, salt pork, 
boiled rice with plenty of sugar. 

Continuing the same letter on the 19th, Private 
Lyon says : 

"Yesterday about noon, our regiment was ordered 
to fall in to escort the rest of the prisoners 
do-\\Ti to the landing, to go aboard the boat. It 
was about four miles and very hard Avalkiug. We had 
to Avait all the afternoon for the boat, so we did not 
get back to camyj till about 6 o'clock. There was much shak- 
ing of hands and many goodbys and 'take care of yourself 
between us and the prisoners, just as if they were another 
Massachusetts regiment." Concerning the part taken by the 
Twenty-fourth in the battle the narrator says, "The place 
where we landed was all swampy, so we had to walk in mud 
and water up to our l^nees. We were a muddy set when we were 
brought u]) in line on dry land. Our Colonel hurried us as 
fast as he could, but we had to march through such swamps 
that we had to hold up our cartridge boxes to keep them dry. 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 65 

* * * * Then we traveled on without any rest till we 
were met by a rebel officer (Lieutenant-Colonel Poore, North 
Carolina) with a flag of truce within half a mile of the rebel 

On the 20th, describing other regiments in the fray, Private 
Lyon continues: 

"Our regiment had a howitzer that we brought off the 
boat. The men had managed to draw it part way, when 
they came across a mule, which the rebels had left 
behind all harnessed, so our boys hitched it on. You 
would have laughed to see it. The mule Avas not much 
larger than the giin, and looked curious enough. The boys 
have picked up a lot of queer things on the march. I got an 
old flintlock musket, but I could not carry it, for I was about 
tuckered out. The most of our regiment have just been doAvn 
swimming, but the water was too cold and mudd}^ for me. 

* * * * We had a dress-parade on the 13th, and an order 
from General Burnside was read complimenting the officers 
and men for their coolness and bravery during the engage- 
ment. ' ' 

Before the result of the fight was knoA^oi at Fort Huger, a 
schooner from Elizabeth City had brought over to the island 
and landed near Wier's Point 500 men belonging to the Sec- 
ond A'orth Carolina Battalion, commanded byLieut.-Col. Whar- 
ton J. Green, and the Captain, learning of the Confederate 
defeat, departed without giving his late passengers a chance to 
go back with him. Having no other recourse, the newcomers 
surrendered also, and Company D of the Twenty-fourth was 
sent with them to get their baggage that had been left on the 
shore. Returning at 7 p.m., the boys thouglit it rather hard 
to have to go on guard after all their travels, but such is the 
variety of a soldier's life. It was amusing to hear the officers 
call out to their respective commands, 'Fall in. Wise Legion, 
fall in, Ben ]\IcCulloch Rangers; fall in, Johnson's Sharp- 
shooters, Hilton Guards, Richmond Blues,' etc. The long, 
heavy knives that many of them had carried bore 
the words stamped on the blade, 'Yankee Slayer.' 

66 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Our men went out foraging early and brought back 
pigs, chickens and many other things. Each one of the three 
regiments has to be on guard every third day. We suffer from 
the cold at night, as our blankets ai^e on the boat. We wonder 
at the way the fort was built, for all the guns are mounted to 
repel attacks from an entirely different direction from that in 
which we came. The rebs say they had to furnish their own 
clothing, hence its lack of uniformity. They can't drill a 
little bit. With our fine discipline, drill, uniform and band 
we made their eyes stick out a foot. In the main, they were 
very ignorant and had little idea of what the war was about." 

Another particularly observing man in G Company found 
time to go about the new location and, behind the officers' 
quarters, he saw a bottle standing on a window-sill. Having 
a mind to be sociable, he appropriated the flask and went 
among the Texas Rangei*s and, holding up the bottle, asked 
them what was in it. ''Red eye" was the immediate and 
genera! response. "Take it, drink and pass around," is the 
comment of the generous Yankee. It was a good introduction 
and what he didn't know about those same Confeds. before he 
had finished the interview was not worth knowing. They said 
they carried their big cutlasses or knives for the purpose of 
carving up Yanks, "But you've got us, and we cain't," is the 
plaintive remark. "We was goin' to pay you 'uns back for the 
way you cut up the Black Hoss Cavalry at Bull Run, but when 
the Blue Coats come in on us we 'uns had to right smart git. ' ' 
One of the murderous weapons, carried by the rebels, was 
taken from the body of a dead foeman, fully six feet tall, 
belonging to the " ^Mississippi Wildcats," by A. J. Vining, a 
diminutive drummer boy of K, scarely more than five feet in 
stature. He still retains it, in his San Francisco home, as 
a priceless war-relic. 

For the sake of readers not members of the Twenty-fourth, 
it should be stated that the Massachusetts regiments, viz., the 
23d, 24th. 25th and 27th, were all in the First 
Brigade, and with them was the Tenth Connecticut, 

Feb. '62. Eoanoke. 67 

with "which organization the men of the Twenty-fourth 
were specially intimate ; the Second and Third Brig- 
ades had five and six regiments respectively. The 
naval force had twenty vessels of varying size all under the 
qommand of Flag' Officer L. M. Goldsborough, and on the 7th, 
when the attack began, he paraphrased the famous signal of 
Nelson with, ' ' Our country expects every man to do his duty. ' ' 
Opposed to them upon the water was only an insignificant 
array of seven tugs and river steamers by some one dubbed 
"mosquito fleet," under Commander Lynch, but really of so 
little consequence that the Federal coimnander gave it very 
little attention. The forces of Burnside are said to have been 
piloted to Hammond's or Ashby's landing by a negro, and the 
thousands of Union soldiers who, through water and mud, 
waded in and pressed their way up the island towards the 
enemy's fortifications were filled with a disposition to make 
ample amends for the long delays they had suffered. At the 
cost of many killed and wounded men, the island was won and 
the first act in the expedition was ended. 

Where so many generous souls went out into the infinite 
it might be deemed unfair to make special mention of indi- 
viduals, but the case of Lieut. -Col.Vignier de Monteil of the 
Fifty-third New York or the d'Epineuil Zouaves should be 
stated. His own regiment had been sent back to Annapolis 
because of the excessive draft of the vessel carrying it, but for 
some reason the officer found himself, as it were, stranded on 
Hatteras. He was every inch a soldier, and when there was 
a fight in progress he wished to have a part. He asked the 
privilege of serving in the ranks, and with a carbine in hand 
he advanced along with and a little to the right of the Ninth 
or Hawkins' Zouaves of New York. He had done effective 
service when, well "along in the second day, whether by a 
sharpshooter or not, may never be known, the gallant officer 
fell. A brave and heroic life went out when he died. 
Among the Confederate dead, the loss of no one man 
gave rise to more regret and remark than that of 

68 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Capt. 0. Jennings Wise, captain of the Rieh.nond Blues, 
the crack company of that city, and then known as 
Company A of the Forty-sixth Virginia. To him, his older 
brother, John S. Wise ascribed qualities rivaling those of the 
admirable Crichton, and, without doubt, he was entitled to a 
deal of praise for the gallant manner in which he discharged 
all the duties laid upon him. He was, however, mortally 
wounded before he undertook the trip across the sound to 
Nag's Head, and his friends realized that war "ever plants its 
fangs in the bravest and tenderest hearts."* 

Nearly forty years after the engagement at Roanoke the 
publication of "North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865," enables 
those who desire to learn somewhat the estimate of the fight 
by those who were beaten. That same Lieut.-Col. Wharton J. 
Green, who came on the field too late for any considerable part 
in the fray, in his report to Col. H. INI. Shaw, who was in com- 
mand, says he landed on the island at 10 a.m. of the 8th, but 
it was 12 o'clock before he could get under w^ay. On his 
march towards the Union lines he met many stragglers who 
assured him that it was all up, yet he persisted in advancing. 
His men did meet the Twenty- first Massachusetts and had a 
brief tilt, resulting in the death of three of his men and the 
wounding of five, and he was ready to continue the struggle, 
but was assured that he would do so at his peril. In his story 
of the Second Battalion the Lieutenant-Colonel enlarges on 
his admiration for General Burnside. who merited "the grand 

*In the spring of '65, while the 24th was doing guard duty in Rich- 
mond, a member of Co. B was sitting in Capitol Square, when a man, 
evidently along in years, came and sat down by the soldier and at once 
began a conversation. He proved to be Henry A. Wise, ex-governor, 
and the father of Capt. O. Jennings Wise. He spoke of liis personal 
loss at Roanoke. He was himself an excellent story-teller and was more 
than interested in the words of the Yankee who conveyed to him the lan- 
guage of the dying son, who, as he was lifted from the boat, was said to 
have expressed a wish that he might put his hand under the Island and 
have the strength to turn it over as he would a flapjack, thus like Samson 
of old destroying ail his enemies in his own death. 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 69 

old name of gentleman." Before this the Confederate had 
disclosed the queer weapons with which his command was 
armed. His men had been promised Enfield rifles, but these 
went elsewhere. However, the soldiers were "ready to take 
the best tools they could get and there was no grumbling." 
Some of them started off with squirrel rifles and double- 
barreled shot-gims. "Fortunately, our uncouth armament 
was supplemented by some 350 old flintlock muskets, which 
Governor Letcher of Virginia generously turned over to us 
because his folks would not touch such tools. After being 
percussioned by the government they made very respectable 
killing implements, especially when each double-barreled man 
carried, beside, a two-foot carving knife of the heft of a meat 
axe in lieu of a bayonet." Chroniclers of the Thirty-first 
North Carolina Regiment, in Vol. TI of the aforesaid pub- 
lication, say, p. 509, "The entire military force stationed on 
the island prior to and at the time of the engagement con- 
sisted of the Eighth Regiment, North Carolina State Troops, 
under command of Col. H. M. Shaw, a most gifted and gallant 
officer; the Thirty-first Regiment, North Carolina Volunteers, 
commanded by Col. J. V. Jordan, known as a faithful officer 
and a fine disciplinarian, also three companies of the Seven- 
teenth Regiment, North Carolina Troops, under the command 
of IMajor G. H. Hill. After manning the forts we had only 
about 800 effective men for duty. * * * The Confederate 
loss in killed, wounded and missing was 285. We were 
paroled by the enemy. The term of our enlistments expired 
about September, 1862, and about this time we were ex- 
changed. ' ' 

In the same work it may be read that the remainder of the 
Seventeenth Regiment had been captured in the preceding 
August by General Butler, when he made the first raid on Hat- 
teras. Also, in another part of the compilation, occurs this 
staitement concerning the Thirty-first: "From a combination 
of circumstances that could not be overcome at the time, this 
regiment was the worst armed that the State sent to the front. 

70 Twenty-fourth MasSxVchusetts Regiment. 

The State did not have the arms to furnish and the Confede- 
rate States refused to furnish any more arms to twelve 
months' regiments." 

Following the battle the Union forces found themselves in 
possession of a large number of prisoners, and the next ques- 
tion was what should be done with them. While a trip north 
might have been an educational measure for many of them, it 
was deemed best to parole them till an exchange could be 
effected, and the part borne by the Twenty-fourth in this 
arrangemnt is told in the report of Lieutenant- Colonel Osborn 
made to Capt. Lewis Richmond, A. A. General of Flag of 
Truce and Exchange of Prisoners, dated Roanoke Island, 
Feb. 23, 1862: 

In obedience to an order from General Foster, received 
in the afternoon of Sunday, Feb. 16, 1862, I reported myself 
to General Burnside for special service at 4 o'clock. I was 
furnished by him ^dth dispatches for General Ben- 
jamin Huger in relation to an exchange of prisoners 
of war, and directed to proceed with a flag of 
truce to Elizabeth City, and place the dispatches in the hands 
of the first responsible Confederate officer whom I could find, 
unless I could get permission to proceed to Norfolk and pre- 
sent them in person and thereby gain time. 

The tug-boat Champion being placed at my disposal, I went 
immediately on board, and obtaining a pilot from the flag- 
ship Philadelphia, proceeded to Elizabeth City. I arrived at 
the gunboat Louisiana [about a mile from the town] at 2 a.m., 
and, seeing Captain IMurray, learned that he had no means of 
putting me in communication with the forces of the enemy 
that night. At daybreak, I went in the tug to the to^vn and 
found it almost entirely deserted, with no troops to be seen. 
Learning that the nearest commanding officer was Major Lee 
of the Third Georgia Volunteers, whose headquarters were 
about three miles distant, I procured a conveyance and 
reached the place at about 9 o'clock. Major Lee, who was 
absent at the time, soon arrived and I asked to be forwarded 
to Norfolk. He replied that dispatches could be sent forward 
immediately, but that it would be necessary to obtain the per- 
mission of an officer at some distance from here before he could 
allow me to go any farther, and intimated that it would prob- 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 71 

ably not be permitted at all. Finding that I should lose 
much time by urging- the point, I gave him the dispatches, to 
which, he assured me, I should have an answer by the next 
morning. I then returned to the Louisiana. At 4 p.m. on 
Tuesday, the 18th, ^Major Lee brought dispatches from Gen- 
eral ILiger with the announcement that ]Major Allston would 
arrive from Norfolk in the morning to communicate with me 
in relation to the matter with which I was charged. At 11 
a.m. the next day I met Major Allston and foimd that he had 
no authority to make any arrangement in addition to the 
proposition of General Huger. 

I then returned to Roanoke Island with the dispatches 
and reported to General Burnside at 5 p.m. Feb. 19. On the 
20th, I was ordered by General Burnside to take charge of 
the transports Guide, Spaulding, Cossack. Geo. Peabody and 
New York containing the prisoners of war captured on Roa- 
noke Island, and proceed with them to Elizabeth City, and 
deliver the prisoners to ]\Iajor Allston, taking a receipt there- 
for. I reached Elizabeth City at 6 p.m., and anchored the 
transports off the town, went on shore with the tug Cham- 
pion, which had accompanied the fleet, and arranged with 
Major Allston to commence the delivery of the prisoners at 
7 the next morning. At the appointed time, the steamers 
Spaulding and the Geo. Peabody were at the wharf, the 
officers landed and the rolls verified in my presence, then the 
wounded, and afterwards the rank and file from the other 
transports, one company at a time. This continued without 
interruption until 5 p.m., when all were delivered. Various 
doubts of the rank of some of the prisoners arising from a 
difference in their own statements and that of the rolls were 
made the siTbject of a document signed by Major Allston and 
myself, referring the matter to the competent authorities for 
settlement by reference to the records. Thirty prisoners, 
whose names were on the rolls could not be found. * * * 
Early on Saturday morning, I left with the fleet for Roanoke 
Island, and on arriving gave you the receipt of Major Allston 
with above corrections. (The corrections are omitted here.) 

Lieutenant-colonel Osborn thus accounted for about 2580 
men, yet Colonel Shaw, the rebel commander, says his entire 
force did not exceed 1100. AVhere the prisoners came from 
has ever been a wonder to those who took them. The great 

72 Twenty-fourth ^Iassachusetts Regiment. 

majority of the prisoners went away happy with heartj^ 
hand-shakes and the ])est of g'ood wishes, l)nt one observer 
records an exception : ' ' While the rebs were going down 
to the landing, one of them, a mere boy. was carried on a 
stretcher, being Ijadly wounded, and he was damning the 
Yanks up hill and do\\'ii. He was .a professor of cuss words 

There was not much variety in the further stay of the 
Union forces on Roanoke. It might be interesting to know 
how many brier-wood pipes were fashioned by ingenious 
hands, either for friends at home or for personal use. 
Rumors having been started by some of the colored people 
that treasures had been buried by the residents, there fol- 
lowed some digging on the part of the Yankees, but with 
indifferent success, in one case the remains of a deceased 
rebel being the net returns. Some of the men wondered 
at the seeming poverty of the people, there being instances 
where attempts to secure supplies from them ending in 
giving food and necessities to the enemy. One man remarked 
on the statement that there were 600 families on the island, 
that he couldn't see where they could be, for his observation 
indicated very sparse settlements. It is claimed that only 
one vote for secession was cast on the Island. To those 
who recalled their history, there was a charm in standing 
where the brave pioneers of Sir Walter Raleigh may have 
been and in living over, in mind, the days of early English 
occupancy.* There were attempts at bathing, but the gen- 

*The years since 186l* have marked many changes in Roanoke. The 
population is more than twice that of the war period, ^lanteo itseh' hav- 
ing nearly 1000 people. Named for the tirst Indian baptized in the 
Christian faith, it is on the east side of the Island about one mile froui 
the scene of the hardest part of the fighting. It is the shire town for 
Dare County, erected since the war, and the county includes the Island, 
the bar of sand separating Roanoke Sound from the ocean, and some 
parts of the mainland to the westward of Croatan Sound. The name of 
the county commemorates that of the first white child of English pa- 
rents born in America. In 1896 i^eople interested in historical matters. 

Feb. '62. Eoanoke. 73 

eral verdict was that the water was not up to the desired 
temperature for that diversion. In the TAventy-fourth, 
Colonel Stevenson would not permit anj^ great amount of 
time to pass without the inevitable drill. To him there was 
nothing like occupation to keep men out of mischief, so 
very few days passed without its drill, company and battal- 
ion, and usually a parade. The regiment had acquired an 
enviable reputation and he did not intend that it should lose 
any part of it. 

Of course there were constant rumors as to the next move 
from Roanoke, and in fancy the soldiers were capturing all 
of the places on the mainland, but few of the dreams mate- 
rialized. However irksome the stay may have been to the 
men, it must have been infinitely more so to the officers in 
high command, whose military future depended on the ac- 
complishment of the expedition. ]\Iore than a month of 
precious time was lost in this inactivity with little to relieve 
the monotony. Of course there were letters from home, and 
a deal of time was devoted to telling the dear ones there how 
the battle went, of the escapes and the fatalities. Thousands 
of letters came down from northern homes to cheer the hearts 
of the "Boys in Blue," and that home army was hardly 
conscious of the good thus done to the army at the front. 
Days when mail was expected were intervals of intensest 
anxiety. Happy the boy who got his letter, happier still 
the lad with more than one; but who shall picture the looks 
of the man, when the last name had been called, and his was 
not heard? After these many days, it is not amiss to recall 
some of those communications which put fervor into the 
heaiis of the recipients. While individually received and 

dedicate^ a handsome monument on the site of old Fort Raleigh, near 
the extreme northern end of the Island. The same commemorates the 
first English settlement as well as the birth of Virginia Dare. The 
house occupied by Burnside is still standing, and is to-day known as 
Burnside's Headquarters. "Where the expedition landed is now the 
dock of the Old Dominion Steamship Company. (The writer is obliged 
to B. G. Crisp, Esq., of Manteo, N. C, for items of information.) 

74 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

read they were general in their application. In her letter 
of February 13th, the mother was in the greatest anxiety, 
not having heard from her son since the battle ; in the second, 
that of the 24th, she has heard that her boy is safe, but the 
motherly heart still refuses to be satisfied: — 

AVith what strange and mingled emotions of hope and 
dread do I now address yon. We have received accounts of 
the capture of Eoanoke Island, and this glorious victory of 
Burnside, but this is all; we have yet to learn at what sacri- 
fice of precious lives this success is purchased. God, 
grant me resignation to Thy divine will. I have prayed for 
strength to yield implicit obedience to God's will and I have 
prayed for God's protection of you, my dear son, in that 
fearful struggle of human life. * * * I thought I would 
send you a few lines to assure you, if it is necessary, of my 
untiring love and interest in you, and to tell you how con- 
stantly I think of you and pray for you. * * * I feel, 
this morning, comparatively calm to what I have done and, 
although I am still very anxious to know the details of the 
struggle, yet I feel more resigned to God's will, for I know 
"that all things work together for good to those who love 
God. This is the experience of all God's children and I have 
ever found it so." — February 13, 1862. 

No less than three letters are before me from you. On 
Saturday I received yours of the 12th, this morning one from 
you of the 10th, proving the irregularity of the mails. I can- 
not tell you with hoAV much pleasure and satisfaction I 
received these pencil-written sketches, my dear son, and I 
appreciate your attention in writing at such a time and under 
such circumstances. If you knew how anxiously my heart 
has been beating for you, and how often my fervent prayers 
have been ofi^ered for you, I think you would feel fully repaid 
for writing these penciled lines, more precious to me than 
many a fairer written page. Of course, I felt relieved from 
anxiety about you long before your letter reached me, because 
I had read the accounts in the papers, which soon gave us 
the particulars of the taking of Roanoke Island. * * * 
Our cause is marching on, and God grant that our flag may 
soon be waving over every rebellious state and the Union for- 
ever firmly established. Alas! I tremble to think at what a 

Feb. '62. Roanoke. 75 

sacrifice of precious lives this must be effected; may God in 
His mercy spare mine. Amen. * * * After mention- 
ins" an entertainment, the letter continues : I could not go, for 
it Avas about the time I was feelino- so anxious about you, and 
althouoh I was assured of your safety, yet I could feel no 
interest in anything of the kind, and did not wish to go where 
I should meet so many people. * * * God ever bless you, 
my dear son. — Feb. 24, 1864. 

February 28th, Lieut. -Col. Osborn records: "We were 
going to Plymouth ]\Ionday, but that expedition was given up 
and we are still here, much elated at the glorious victories of 
Forts Henry and Donelson and the rout of Price's army." 
March 10th the same officer narrates the incidents of a trip 
made on the Vidette with three companies of the 24th, A, C 
and F, up the Scuppernong River to Columbia, for the pur- 
pose of seizing some 600 militia, who, it was understood, were 
to be drafted and mustered there. He had also with him 
the Pilot Boy, the Pickett, the Alice Price, and the Vir- 
ginia, carrying six companies of the Sixth New Hampshire 
under Lieutenant-Colonel Griffin, and three pieces of artil- 
lery, under Colonel Howard of the Marine Artillery. As 
usual, on reaching the mouth of the river, it was found that 
the Vidette and the Virginia could not enter on account of 
their draft, so the men were taken on by the "Pilot Boy," 
which, with the Alice Price, carried the troops and went on 
up the stream. General Foster, conunanding, placed Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel Osborn next in command, and the latter threw 
out an advanced guard of twenty men under Lieut. H. D. 
Jarves, and marched about three;-ciuarters of a mile, where 
they halted for the General to come up. Near this place they 
seized a stupid countiyman, bearing the name of Brickhouse, 
to whom they administered the oath of allegiance, because of 
his claiming to be a Union man. He proved to be a veritable 
]\Irs. Malaprop in his use of words, and stated that the muster- 
ing of militia had been "contrabanded" by the Governor 
because he was afraid the Yankees would get them. He said 

76 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Eegiment. 

he had been in Columbia that day and there were no troops 
there, and he "resumed" there were none in the neighbor- 
hood. "When accused of a purpose to escape, he said he had 
no such "resign.'' On the arrival of the General it was 
decided to move forward, which was done rapidly. It was a 
lovely, moonlit night, perfectly still save for the sounds made 
by those marching. On reaching the town, it was found 
almost deserted, except for the blacks. The battalion of the 
Twenty-fourth was quartered at the Court House, and the 
artillery placed so as to command the streets. Even here was 
found the well-nigh ubiquitous liquor shop, which the Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel shut up, threatening to destroy the liquor and 
burn the building if any more business was done. The night 
passed quietly, and in the morning, after breaking open the 
jail to get at some old arms stored there, and tearing down 
the whipping-post and stocks, all went on board the steamers 
again and returned to the fleet, having had a fine time, though 
no special harm was done the Confederacy. 

In the service of the Episcopal Church we may read: "In 
the midst of life we are in death," a truth early apparent to 
the victors at Eoanoke, and for the reception of the bodies of 
the deceased soldiers a burial place was necessary. Surgeon 
Green of the Twenty-fourth, alive to this need, was prompt 
to select and devote a plot of land for such purpose. A cor- 
respondent of the New York Tribune, writing ]\Iarch 3d, has, 
in substance, the following: "A short distance in the rear of 
the hospital of the First Brigade, Surgeon Green selected a 
pretty grove of evergTcen, and on a pleasant Sunday, two 
weeks ago, had it dedicated as Roanoke Cemetery with appro- 
priate religious ceremonies. * * * The services of dedi- 
cation were interesting and solemn, and comprised a brief 
introductory speech by Dr. Green, followed by Chaplain Hor- 
ace James of the Twenty-fifth IMassachusetts, wdth appro- 
priate readings from the Scriptures. Prayer was next 
oifered by the Rev. J. B. Clark, chaplain of the Twenty-third, 
and Chaplain ]\Iellen of the Twenty-fourth followed with an 

JMarch '62. Newbern. 77 

address, the exercise coiieluding- with a benediction by Chap- 
lain Geo. S. Ball of the Twenty-first. During the hour or 
more thus devoted, sacred music was rendered by Gilmore's 
famous band." 

On the 10th and 12th of ^Nlarch come orders of a similar 
nature to those preceding Roanoke, in regard to the moving of 
the fleet and the landing. Once more the regiment is em- 
barked upon the Vidette and the Guide, and the prows of the 
vessels are turned toward a new enterprise. ]\Iore than a 
month has been given to Roanoke Island, and now the men 
say "Good-by" to their first battlefield and move on to 


This city, the capital of Craven County, is situated at the 
confluence of the Xeuse and Trent Rivers, the former consti- 
tuting its eastern and the latter its southern boundary. It 
derives its name from the fact that a colony of Swiss, under the 
care of the Baron de Graft'enreid, near the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, had settled on the banks of the Neuse 
and had brought with them the name of their home capital. 
Settings more dissimilar than those of Berne on the Aar, 
and New Berne on the Neuse could hardly be imagined, but 
the name itself, by its mere repetition, may have relieved 
some of the early settlers' pangs of nostalgia. In the provin- 
cial days Newbern was the capital of what was to be the Old 
North State. At the breaking out of the Rebellion the city 
was next to the largest seaport in the State, and having a 
population rising 5,500, was an important factor in the well- 
being of the Confederacy. Once in the possession of the Union 
forces. Newbern would be useful as a base of supplies, and as 
a starting place of expeditions against other parts of the 
rebellious South. Situated twenty-eight miles from the 
ocean, it enjoyed a mild and equable temperature both sum- 
mer and winter. 

Sailing from Roanoke on the 11th, in the forenoon, the fleet 
anchored near Hatteras Inlet, its station after making its 

78 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

entrance in Januai^y. The contrast between the weather then 
and that of March was marked, and northern men were glad 
to know that water in the vicinity of Hatteras could be 
smooth. There the army had the pleasure of receiving a mail, 
a sure source of inspiration for the severe work awaiting it. 
Here, too, was received the glorious tidings of the punishment 
inflicted on the IMerrimack by the little IMonitor, making every 
one all the more determined to do his best. Wednesday, the 
12th, the advance began, it being about 2 o'clock when the 
estuary of the Neuse was entered, there and for several leagues 
nearly twelve miles wide. It was an inspiring sight for those 
participating, however the rebel observers on the land may have 
reg|irded it. At intervals fires on the shore, sending up great 
volumes of smoke, evidently were signals announcing the 
Union movement to the Confederates. At sundown, when 
about eighteen miles from Newbern, the fleet canje to anchor, 
waiting for the light of another day. The vessels were off 
Slocum's Creek, where the next day a landing was to be 
effected. A good night's rest was excellent preparation for 
the trials of the 13th, which soon arrived. At 8 o'clock 
the signal was set to embark the men in boats and row to the 
stern of some of the light draft steamers, which were to act 
as tugs in getting the men ashore. When the tows were all 
arranged, the steamers started for the land, about a mile and 
a half aw^ay. The starry banner waved in the morning breeze, 
the gun barrels glistened in the bright sunlight, and, with the 
cheers of the men, he must have had a stony heart who did 
not exult at having a part in such a magnificent scene. Mean- 
while, the guns of the navy were shelling the shore, on which 
a landing was to be made. When the ships had gone as far as 
was practicable, small boats were cast off and the men began to 
use their oars in trying to reach the shore, and soon ran 
aground. On General Foster's shouting, "Wade ashore," 
officers and men leaped into the water, about three feet deep, 
and pushed for the shore, fifty feet oft'. Colonel Stevenson, 
sword in hand and near to the regimental colors, was the first 

M\R. 13, '62. NE^YBERN. 79 

to spring from his boat, followed close by Lieutenant Horton, 
and Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn led the men from his particu- 
lar craft. Among- the ' ' boys ' ' who made the watery leap for 
the shore was Willie Canning, the fourteen-year-old drum- 
mer boy of Company D, whom Lieutenant Partridge had told 
not to go ashore with his company. Said his comrade, Charles 
T. Ford, "After we had gone about five miles through the 
rain and mud, some one pulled my coat-sleeve, and in looking 
around I found Canning somewhat out of breath, and when 
I asked why he did not obey the Lieutenant, he said he did, 
for he came off with another company and had had a hard 
time catching up. Once up with us, he stayed up, and in the 
fight did as much firing as any of us." He died the follow- 
ing September in "Washington. The report had spread, 
abroad that the organization landing first should lead in the 
attack, and each regiment, athirst for glory, was striving to 
gain renown. The "Come on, men," of their Colonel was a 
prompting to the men of the Twenty-fourth to do their utmost 
and there were few laggards in the scurry for the landing. 
The men of the Twenty-fourth claim that to them are due the 
honors of first reaching the shore with their flag and a 
supporting array of soldiers, though the color-bearer of the 
Fifty-first New York did get his standard first ashore, but he 
was alone. 

"Light marching order" was the command, but its execu- 
tion consisted principally in leaving the knapsacks on the ves- 
sels, for each man had forty rounds of ammunition, two days' 
rations in his haversack, his canteen filled with water, over- 
coat on and blanket rolled about his neck, and, with gun 
besides, the command seemed just a bit wide of the mark. If 
the exercise of landing were violent, the waist-deep wading 
through the Neuse was cooling. After allowing the water to 
run out of boots and shoes, lines were formed and, following 
the Twenty-fourth INIassachusetts, acting as skirmishers, the 
advance began. Participants in that march through the 
marshy and bushy woods had their eyes open to their strange 

80 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

surroundings, noting specially the lianging" moss, so common 
in southern forests, and also the results of the shelling the 
shores had received earlier in the day from the navy, many a 
pine tree having been badly splintered. About two miles 
from the landing some cavalry barracks of the enemy were 
reached, their late occupants having left them in a hurry. 
However, an ancient colored mammy appeared, who expressed 
her pleasure at seeing the Yankees, and praying the blessing 
of God upon them. When asked how many rebels there had 
been and where they were, she replied, "Dar' was a right 
smart heap ob' 'em, but when you uns trew dem rotten shells 
into de woods, dey right smart git and dey's a right smart 
chance of a ways off now. ' ' The screeching of a peacock strut- 
ting' hard by almost brought a fusilade from the men who 
heard it, they not knowing what could be responsible for such 
unearthly yelling. 

Though the landing was effected in the sunshine, ere long 
clouds gathered and rain soon commenced and continued dur- 
ing a large part of the day. After a considerable distance, 
a county road was reached, where the marching was easier. 
Soon a railroad (Goldsboro & Beaufort) was attained, after 
crossing which the regiment filed into a field of rice and 
rested a half hour and lunch was eaten. On setting out 
again Foster's, or the First Brigade, with the Twenty- fourth 
in advance, took the highway, while Reno's, the Second Bri- 
gade, followed the railroad: Parke, with the Third Brigade, 
came afterwards as a reserve. Company E, Captain Hooper, 
was thrown forward as an advance guard, and Lieutenant- 
Colonel Osborn, finding the marching with this detachment 
agreeable, remained with it through the day. The roads, 
under the continuous rain, were becoming very heavy, and the 
soil, of a clayey nature, stuck to the marching feet most tena- 
ciously, some of the men declaring that each step lifted a pos- 
sible brick. Just before reaching the railroad there was 
passed a line of earthworks which the enemy had deserted 
that morning. As they were high and strong, their desertion 

Mar. 1:3, '62. Newbern. 81 

saved the Union forces a deal of hard work. Whatever 
armament the enemy may have possessed had also been 
removed. As the officers in conunand had expected a strong 
resistance hero, they felt much relieved at not having- to force 
them. Towards night the news came that ]\Ianassas had been 
occupied by General McClellan's men, and the plodding" lines 
along the Neuse were greatly cheered. There was little of 
incident during the day save the occasional appearance of col- 
ored people, who possibly were able to give the leaders some 
information. There had been the halt for dinner, which was 
taken from the haversacks, and one lucky Yankee having 
acquired a very small pony, much to the delight of his com- 
rades, proceeded to relieve the tedium of the march by riding 
him, though the combination was most ridiculous. 

At nightfall, having filed into the woods by the roadside, 
arms were stacked and campfires built, two for each company, 
great care being taken lest the forest catch fire. There had 
been some falling out on this the first real march of the regi- 
ment, a few of the men being unable to stand the strain, and 
one poor fellow, going into a spasm, was carried into an old 
house and the surgeon was summoned to his relief. Other- 
wise the men came into their camp feeling that they Avere 
nearer the enemy than in the morning, and that the day of 
battle was at hand. The march of about ten miles had been 
extremely wearisome, owing to the heavy burdens carried and 
the character of the roads, and rest, even though it was found 
in the mud, Avas very grateful. But each regiment had to 
send out a picket line and, fresh or weary, the lot had to fall 
on some one. ' ' It was a miserable night ; ' ' the best that could 
be said of it was that there was no disturbance from without, 
and such sleep as men could get, imder the circumstances, 
they had. Some said they slept little, if any, even though 
they wrapped themselves up in their blankets. What those 
did who had thrown theirs away has not been told. All night 
the rain fell, and the soldiers accommodated themselves to the 
situation according to their dispositions and circumstances. 

82 Twenty-fourth ^Iassaciiusetts Kegiment. 

All sorts of tribulation befell the l)oys during that wet night. 
A pair of them undertook to sleep with a rubber and woolen 
blanket under them, and the same over, finding, as they 
thought, a good place. Ere long one of them shouts, 
' ' Charlie, you have got all the covering over you, for I am wet 
through to the skin." "So am I, too," was the reply, when 
they began to investigate, only to find that they had placed 
their couch in the bed of a stream by the roadside, and the 
water was actually running by them. A ^standup for the 
remainder of the night was their portion. Fortunately, the 
enemy was just as uncomfortable as the Union army, and kept 
carefully aloof from the Yankees in bivouac. The following 
parody may have been in the minds of many, both Johnny 
and Yank, though possibly unexpressed, as the two armies 
reposed in the mud and addressed themselves to sleep : 

"Now I laj' me down to yleep 
In mud that's many fathoms deep; 
If I'm not here when you awake, 
Just hunt me up with an oyster rake." 

Sunrise came a little after 6 o'clock, and the camp was 
early astir. Whatever eating the men did was done without 
concert, each one doing his best for himself. It was not long 
after daylight that musketry firing was heard on the left, and 
the regiment immediately fell into line and started on, still 
holding the advance. Though rain had ceased falling, there 
was a thick fog and roads were as heavy as ever. It seems 
that the camp had been pitched very near the enemy's works, 
for the advance guard had gone only a short distance when 
earthworks were discovered across the road a few hundred 
yards away. Halting, officers and men were sent forward to 
reconnoitre, who soon returned, stating that the fortification 
seemed to be long and strong with artillery and filled Avith 
infantiy and cavalry. It appeared that here the enemy had 
decided to make the principal fight for the continued posses- 
sion of the city. The earthwork extended from the Neuse. 
near Fort Thompson, a mile and a half to a nominally impen- 

:\rAR. 13. '62. Newbern. 83 

etral)le swamj) cxtendino' southward in the direction of More- 
head City. There were a battery of thirteen guns next the 
river, several redoubts, all of them well mounted, three bat- 
teries of field artillery, and eight regiments of infantry, num- 
bering about 8000 troops, under the command of General 
Lawrence O'B. Branch, who, a graduate of Princeton, had 
been from December, "55, to March 3d, '61, a member of Con- 
gress. He was to fall at Antietam in the following Septem- 
ber. In the river had been placed a variety of obstructions, 
more or less ingenius, but all of them proved utterly useless 
so far as stopping the progress of the Union fleet, under the 
command of Capt. S. C. Rowan, who had succeeded Flag 
Officer Goldsborougli, was concerned. 

At General Foster's command, Colonel Stevenson led the 
Twenty-fourth into a field at the right of the road, and 
formed line parallel to the Confederate breastw^orks and in 
the edge of a wood. The Twenty-fifth ^Massachusetts, passing 
behind the Twenty-fourth, formed on its right, with four 
companies nearest the river refused to protect the flank. This 
position proving untenable, on account of the nearness of 
Fort Thompson and the danger from our own gunboats. Col- 
onel Upton moved the Twenty-fifth to the left of the road and 
the Twenty-fourth, thus leaving the latter on the extreme 
right. As originally placed, the Twenty-seventh Massachu- 
setts was on the left of the road and supporting a battery ; the 
latter position of the Twenty-fifth nnist have crowded the 
Twenty-seventh somewhat ; next towards the left was the 
Twenty-third ^Massachusetts and then the Tenth Connecticut, 
which completed the First Brigade : later in the day the 
Eleventh and the Eighth Connecticut of the Third Brigade 
moved in on either side of the Twenty-third, the latter retir- 
ing for lack of ammunition. General Parke's, or the Third 
Brigade, formed on the left of the First, and Reno's, or the 
Second, held the extreme Union left. Opposed to these 
troops, over behind the frowning breastworks, in front of 
which was a wide and deep ditch, were Xortli Carolina regi- 

84 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

ments in the following order, beginning at the rebel left or at 
the Eiver Neuse, viz.: 27th, 37th, 7th, 35th, 26th and 33d. 
The 28tli reached the field just in time to witness the with- 
drawal of the Confederates and to assist in protecting the 
rear. Between the 35th and the 26th, rebel writers mention 
a battalion of militia, whose early giving way was one of the 
sources of failure to hold the works. The Confederate bat- 
teries from their left to right were the guns of Fort Thompson, 
then Whitford's, Leecraft's, Herring's, Evans's, all between 
the river and the road ; between the road and the railroad 
were those of Latham, Mayo and Brem. The artillery of 
Burnside's men was conspicuous by its absence, consisting 
only in a few howitzers from the fleet, and even these the boys 
who had helped draw them through the mud thought quite 
too many. 

Our concern is chiefly with the doings of the Twenty-fourth 
Regiment on this day, and the words of one who was there 
may tell the story. Halting fifty yards from the open, with- 
in the edge of the woods, and 250 yards from the enemy's 
lines, there appeared to be many obstructions filling the inter- 
val, intended to make the crossing as difficult as possible, con- 
sisting largely of fallen trees. Company E was sent forward 
to ascertain the exact situation resulting in the locating of 
certain Confederate batteries. Soon after comes an order 
from General Foster for the regiment to advance to the edge 
of the woods and to commence firing. The order was obeyed 
at once, and on reaching the open the men were saluted with 
a volley from the enemy which proved harmless. The reply 
was immediate, and at last men who had been so anxious 
to use their guns against the foe were having their opportu- 
nity. The field officers as well as the line were afoot, and the 
command being to lie down the firing was from that position, 
each man taking as careful aim as possible. Fortunately, the 
range of the rebels was too high and comparatively few of 
their shots were effective. Not alone were the missiles from 
the infantry, but the artillery shot and shell were coming fast 

IMar. 14. '62. Newbekn. 85 

and furious, though the enemy's firing l)y volleys gave the 
Union troops chances to dodge. Again, the aim of the rebels 
was so high that they cut off more trees than men. A Virginia 
rail fence in the immediate front had been taken down by the 
sappers and miners, men having been stationed at each angle, 
and, on the word, had lifted the whole section and leveled it. 
At first many of the guns were not in working order on 
account of the wetting received the night before when they 
were in stack, and the charges had to be withdrawn before 
they were useful. When a Company G boy got a serious 
wound in his shoulder, he dropped his gun, but was able to 

shout, ' ' Give it to the ! Where 's my gun ? " He 

was helped back a little ways and the fight went on without 
him. Confederate officers could be seen trjdng to get their 
men up to the works and to make a more forceful fight. One 
officer in his zeal even climbed upon the breastwork itself, 
and ran along the same, as though trying to show his men the 
absence of danger, but he was soon picked off, a clear refuta- 
tion of his apparent illustration. Another, who rode a white 
horse, was seen doing his best to drive the men into more 
strenuous action, and he, too, became a special target and so 
went down, his body being found after the rout completely 
riddled with bullets. There were lulls in the firing, and one 
man of Company D records that he would have fired more had 
he been able to see anything to shoot at, so dense was 
the pall of smoke. ' ' I was holding my fire when Lieutenant 
Sweet of my company came along and wanted to 
know why I wasn't firing. I told him I didn't wish 
to waste my ammunition." "Oh, blaze away," was the 
reply. "You'll make a noise* if you don't do anything else." 
Once in the heat of the fight a force of what seemed to be 
Union soldiers was seen entering the fort in the rear of the 
enemy, and our men accordingly ceased firing and rose to their 
feet with cheers, only to find that their supposed friends were 
really reinforcements, and the shooting was at once resumed. 
Though the action raged through three long hours it was only 

86 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

toward the last that the enemy g'ot the range of the Federal 
position sufficiently to do any considerable execution. During 
all this time the Twenty-fourth was endangered by an enfilad- 
ing fire on its right, coming from the Union gunboats, which 
were pounding away at the water battery near the river, while 
fully a mile to the left the forces of General Reno were fight- 
ing the rebels in front of them. When the action was hottest, 
word was brought to Colonel Stevenson that his brother, the 
Major, was wounded, but would not leave the field. As the 
Colonel left his place in the rear of the center of the regiment, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn succeeded him. While the Colonel 
was absent, and the second officer began to wonder at his stay, 
there came a shout from the men in front, for evidently some- 
thing was happening down towards the left. It was because 
a portion of the Twenty-first jMassachusetts had gained the 
battery in their front and were struggling for its possession 
that there came the cheering- from our part of the line. Col- 
onel Stevenson came running up with the order to charge and, 
belter skelter, went the men over the intervening space, under, 
over, and through all sorts of obstacles till the ditch was 
reached and the breastwork mounted, only to be found 
deserted, for, firing a parting volley and sending- a final round 
of grape, the rebels had precipitately fled. Some of the men, 
in their anxiety to keep out of the water, on reaching the fosse, 
threw across the trunks of trees and so walked over dry, while 
others made flying leaps and some went into the mud plump, 
whence they were helped by their fellows, sights to behold. 
One man who made the leap complete, when, several days 
later, he saw what he had done, could hardly credit his own 
sight, though he ascribed his agility to the spur of excitement. 
The Union flag soon replaced the rebel banner, and the fight 
for the possession of the city on the other side of the Trent 
was over. 

Meanwhile, the gunboats, quite ignorant of the turn in the 
affairs on the shore, were still sending their compliments in 
the shape of iron missiles, so that men of the Twenty-fourth 

:Mar. 14. '62. Xewbern. 87 

were ordered to mount tlie parapets of Fort Thompson, and 
by the show of fiat's indicate the change of possessors. The 
forces on the river at once discovered the situation and quiclvly 
substituted cheers for shot and shell. First Sergeant Nat. 
"Wales of Company G, discovering a beautiful horse tied to a 
tree, proceeded to appropriate him, but passed him along to 
the Colonel, who had been on foot all day. The steed had 
been wounded in the neck, thus accounting for his having 
been left. There were still forts along the river's side between 
Thompson and the Trent, but these were quickly put out of 
business by the gunboats, a well-directed shot from one of 
them blowing up the magazine of one battery. Generals Fos- 
ter and Burnside speedily appeared on the scene, and both 
were profuse in their praise of the men and happy in the suc- 
cessful outcome of the day. Said the latter, "Well, boys, I 
gave you something to do this time, didn 't I ? " To which 
remark the men responded with the jolliest of cheers. So 
hurriedly had the defenders of the works departed they had 
not time to eat nor take with them the food which had been 
brought out to them.- All along the line were iron pails or 
pots of stewed gray beans with pork, and there was johuny- 
eake in plenty. This show of provisions was not entirely lost, 
since many of the victorious soldiers had fought on empty 
stomachs and were not in the least averse to sampling the 
deserted rations. 

It was a scene of desolation that the Union soldiers beheld 
as they looked about the place whence so recently had come the 
hostile shot. It looked as though every horse used Avith the 
artillery had been killed, for the number of dead animals was 
great. They were lying with their harnesses on, and, in 
some cases, with them off. Some were attached to carts, which 
evidently were for ambulance purposes. Knapsacks, clothing 
of every description, ammunition, along with dead bodies of 
the enemy, all attested the fury of the battle and the sudden- 
ness of- the flight. A train of cars, apparently held for an 
emergency, had afforded an avenue of escape for many of the 

88 Twenty-fourth ]\Iassachusetts Regiment. 

retreating- rebels. However, the city, the principal object of 
the battle, was still several miles away, and the order of Burn- 
side was to leave a company in Fort Thompson and push on 
towards Newbern. Colonel Stevenson complied by ordering 
Company B into the fort and the remainder of the regiment 
started onward. Three miles farther the crossing of the 
river by the railroad was reached, and the bridge was found 
to be on fire and flames were rising- from the city itself. The 
enemy, in their anger and despair over the loss of their 
defenses, had determined to give the victors a taste of what 
Napoleon experienced at Moscow. 

Turning into a field near the destroyed bridge, the regiment 
secured needed rest. ]\Ieanwhile, troops were thrown across 
the river, who, with the help of the colored people, managed 
to put out the fire and so save the town. However, till this 
most fortunate result was reached, there was a vast pall of 
smoke overhanging the city, so dense at times that only the 
steeples of the churches were visible. The loss in the regiment 
was ten killed and about sixty wounded, including Major Ste- 
venson and Lieutenants Nichols [H], Sargent [E], and Hor- 
ton [I], who was acting Adjutant, the latter seriously. After 
a wait of about three hours in the field the men were marched 
down to the river, and, by means of improvised ferries, were 
taken over to the city, in one of whose rebel camps the victors 
found quarters. Previously to going over General Foster had 
found opportunity to tell the officers of the Twenty-fourth his 
admiration for the spirit of their men and his opinion of the 
battle itself, which he characterized as a well-fought field. It 
is noteworthy that quite all of those contesting the Union 
advance were North Carolina troops, with the possible excep- 
tion of some of the batteries; a large part of those who thus 
advanced were from the Bay State. How the battle was 
regarded by the North Carolinians may be seen in the stories 
of the several regiments engaged. That of the Thirty-fifth 
North Carolina says: 

General Branch formed his line of defense at right angles 

Mar. 14. '62. Newberx. 89 

Avith the river, beiiinning at Fort Thompson on the Xeuse, and 
extending it across the conntiy to near Briee's Creek. His 
troops consisted of seven regiments, including the militia. The 
batteries of Latliam and Brem, six guns each, supported this 
line. About midway the line was intersected by the railroad* 
from Newbern to ]\Iorehead City. At this point of intersec- 
tion there was a brickyard. Burnside attacked early on the 
morning of March 14, '62. After the battle had progressed 
for some time in a manner encouraging to the Confederate 
commander, the enemy, perceiving the weakness of the Con- 
fedei-ate line at the brickyard, made a spirited attack at this 
point. The militia broke and fled. This demoralized the 
troops on their left, and the enemy seizing the opportunity 
advanced through this break in the Confederate lines. 

The enemy now rushed his troops through the abandoned 
works, and enfilading the Confederates on either side, forced 
them to retire, but not Avithout a stubborn resistance by the 
men of the Thirty-seventh [X. C] Regiment, sent to replace 
the fled militia ; from the Thirty-third Regiment, sent to the 
support of the Thirty-fifth, and from the left wing of the 
Twenty-sixth Regiment, under the command of its gallant 
Major, Abner B. Carmichael, who here lost his life. With 
his center pierced and the enemy now firing into his lines 
from the rear. General Branch ordered a retreat upon New- 
bern, and, after destroying the bridge across the river, and the 
military supplies in the city, continued his retreat upon Kins- 
ton, where reinforcements Avere received and the troops re- 
organized during this and the subsequent month. 

In the record of the Thirty-third North Carolina niaj^ be 
read an interesting account as folloAA's: 

The men Avere spoiling for a fight. They Avere anxious to 
feel the fire of the enemy. During the day [13th], the Fed- 
erals kept up a continuous shelling, but did A'ery little execu- 
tion. Colonel Campbell of the Seventh ("West Point, 1840 ; 
k. Seven Pines, June 1, '62) Avas placed in command of the 

*In February, 190;>, IstSergt. J. G. McCarter of the Twenty-fifth Mas- 
sachuf^etts, ridin<j; from Newbern to Morehead City, says: "We could l)ut 
Just discern the line of breastworks where we charged over and ended 
that eA'entful figlit. The siornis of forty years and other natural causes 
had almost obliterated that splendid line of works, fully seven feet high 
Avith a wide deep ditch." 

90 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

right wing, ffeneral Buniside, who knew Colonel Campbell, 
as they were both oraduates of West Point, sent Colonel 
Campbell the following message : 

"Renb, quit your foolishness, and come back to the Union 
army." Colonel Campbell replied: "Tell CTcneral Burnside 
to go to the devil, where he belongs." 

Colonel Lee of the Thirty-seventh was in command of the 
left wing', (ieneral Branch exercised a general superintend- 
ence of the whole line, but was in immediate command of the 
centre and the reserve. At daybreak on the 14th the regiment 
was up and anxious for the fight. We had spent a rather 
uncomfortable night, as it began to rain about dark and con- 
tinued to rain slowly all night. Still there were no com- 
plaints, no murmurings. Every one seemed to be anxious to 
do his duty to his country and to his God. A little after 
seven o'clock the l>attle began. The firing was brisk and con- 
tinuous between the river and the railroad, an.d gradually ex- 
tended to our right. ***** Between the railroad 
and the Weathersby Road, at our extreme right, was Colonel 
Vance, Twenty-sixth North Carolina, a company of un- 
attached infantry, and two dismounted cavalry companies of 
the ^Nineteenth North Carolina [Second Cavalry]. * * * 
The entire force from the railroad to the Weathersby Road, 
a distance of a mile and a half, niunbered less than 1000 men. 
Some portions of the line were wholly unguarded. For some 
time Foster made little impression on our left wing, but Reno, 
finding a break in the Confederate line at a brickyard near the 
railroad, immediately occupied it, and, turning to his right, 
attacked the militia under Col. H. J. B. Clark. The militia 
fled ingioriously from the field. The Thirty-fifth, assailed in 
flank, very soon followed their example. General Branch and 
his staff tried hard to rally them, but their utmost efforts 
proved unavailing. Meanwhile, the reserve under Colonel 
Avery, was ordered to the front, and, with the left wing of 
the Twenty-sixth, made a bold and determined stand. They 
kept the enemy in check in their immediate front for more 
than three hours. The troops on our left, between the rail- 
road and Fort Thompson, had retreated before an overpower- 
ing force, and the Federals, pouringr into the gap thus 
made, had advanced a considerable distance in our rear before 
the Thirty-third ceased firing-. Indeed, they ceased firing 
only Avhen their ammunition was exhausted. Two couriers 
dispatched by General Branch to Colonel Avery had failed to 

Mar. l-t. "62. Newbern. 91 

reach him, and the Thirty-third, in maintaining the contest 
for so king a time, was simply obeying orders. 

From Confederate sonrees it is learned that their k)sses 
footed np 6-1 killed, 80 wounded, and 335 missing and prison- 
ers. From the same sources the Federal losses are learned as 
89 killed, 370 wounded in the three brigades, with 2 men 
killed in the batteries and 8 wounded. That the rebels fought 
behind breastworks is a sufficient reason for the excess of 
Union fatalities. The book of regimental losses, by Wm. F. 
Fox, published long after the war, gives the Union loss as 90 
killed, 380 wounded, and 1 missing. The Confederate loss he 
makes 64 killed. 101 wounded, and 413 prisoners. The 
Twenty-fourth Eegiment lost 14 men killed or mortally 
wounded, and about 80 were wounded more or less seriously. 
Colonel B. Estvan, a foreign officer, who was serving in the 
Confederate army, in a story of his observations, printed in 
1863, gives an amusing account of his experience before the 
fight at Newbern and soon after. Having been sent by the 
Richmond authorities to inspect the works, he went through 
the same under the guidance of Colonel S.. B. Spruill of the 
Second North Carolina Cavalry, reaching Fort Thompson 
just as the men were going through their drill. The officer 
in command he found not up to his work, and should the 
Union fleet make its appearance he thought said commander 
would speedily make his headquarters in Newbern. Fort El- 
lis was incomplete, but the work was carried on just as if 
there w^ere no danger. The commander here he found to be 
a very easy-going kind of a man, smoking his pipe by his 
fireside, caring no more about his general and staff than he 
did about Burnside and the fleet. He was astonished at the 
consistent precision of the artillery men in not hitting the 
mark, and he made up his mind that if Burnside knew the 
situation, he would at once set sail' for Newbern, which he 
could take without the loss of a single man. Then there came 
a dinner at which, with the flow of wine, followed the inevi- 
table American speeches, wherein the Confederate of^cers vied 

92 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Eegiment. 

Avith each other in bragging- about what they and their men 
would do. Colonel Spmill declared that Newbern should 
become a second Sebastopol, before whose walls the enemy 
must perish. General Branch arose and made a second 
speech, in which he said that Colonel Estvan had successfully 
defended Sebastapol with 10,000 men against the combined 
forces of England and France. The redoubtable Colonel 
Spruill was again on his feet and declared that with 10,000 
of his own brave fellows he would have taken Sebastopol in 
fourteen days and not have left one stone upon another. 
When the visitor was called upon for his speech he said : ' ' My 
friends, how would you go to Avork if General Branch, with 
10,000 of his best men, undertook the defense of Sebastapol, 
and Colonel Spruill, with 10,000 of his cavalry, attacked it? 
What would be the result?" They stared with astonishment 
at these words, and he sat down curious to see how they would 
solve their ovtoi problem. Another subject was then broached, 
but he soon perceived that he had lost their favor. Later the 
Colonel was sent down to North Carolina, and he arrived near 
Newbern to encounter the wreckage as it flowed away from 
the Confederate disaster. "Suddenly a number of horsemen 
galloped past me in full flight, and among them I fancied I 
could discern the gallant Colonel with whom I had dined a 
few days ago. He gave a hurried nod and passed on. New- 
bern I found looking bad enough. General Branch had 
secured a railway carriage for himself and started off inland. 
Troops without their officers passed me in confusion, and, 
throwing away their arms, rushed across the bridge. They all 
told wonderful stories of the feats performed by their respec- 
tive regiments. According to their account they all had fought 
like so many devils, but the force of the enemy not being less 
than 100,000 men. they had no chance against them. The 
fact is General Branch had run away and all discipline was 
at an end." 

Battle Refections.—As, the regiment was really under fire 
first at Newbern, the impressions of the men engaged are in- 

Mar. 14. '62. Newbern. 93 

terestiiig, and one of the field officers has given an excellent 
outline of his feelings as the fight progressed. "I suppose 
you will like to know how I felt during the battle. I really 
cannot tell you. While it was progressing I tried to analyze 
my feelings, but could come at no satisfactory result. I did 
not feel any fear, tliough I was very anxious when the firing 
first began, for many of the muskets had got wet and world 
not go off. It seemed a matter of course that I should be hit, 
and yet after every volley I felt somewhat surprised that no 
ball had touched me. It seemed at times almost impossible 
that there should be a body of men opposite doing their 
utmost to kill us, and then it occurred to me what a curious 
and painful spectacle it would be for a philosopher and lover 
of humanity that two parties of men should have met with 
the sole object of destroying each other. As I was lying near 
the Colonel, I asked him how he felt, and I found that his 
state of mind tallied exactly with my o^^^l. It was such a 
curious mixture that it was sub.ject to no logical analysis." 

WJiat a Private Thought. — "I have been through one battle 
and came out all right, but I expected every minute would be 
my last, but as fortune would have it, I was not to be hit. 
I tell you what it is, the bullets and shells made a good deal of 
music over our heads, but I expect our Minie-balls and shells 
played the rogue's march for the rebels, for I saw them 
marching off at a 'two-forty' gait. I do not believe but that the 
Twenty-fourth and Twent\"-fifth Massachusetts regiments 
could hold that battery against 10,000 rebels. * * * i am 
first-rate ; never felt better in my whole life. The entire regi- 
ment is in very good health, except the wounded and some 
half dozen sick." 

How closely the folks at home followed the doings at the 
front is seen in this letter, written by the mother of one of the 
line officers, and dated ]\Iarch 20th : " I have just received 
yours of the 15th inst. from Newbern. How grateful should 
we all be, my dear son, to our heavenly Father for His preser- 
vation of yours and many other valuable lives. Oh! I feel 
that I am not worthy of the many blessings which I am daily 

94 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

receiving from the Lord. How earnestly, anxiously, con- 
stantly, have I prayed for your safety, and how graciously has 
the Lord answered His sinful child. * * * What fearful 
scenes you have witnessed ! My heart bleeds for the sufferers 
and for the bereaved. God be merciful to them, for vain is 
all human consolation at such a time. We are all anxious to 
hear further particulars with regard to young Horton's 
wound, whom the public accounts report as seriously and 
dangerously wounded. His poor mother and sister I heard 
were in deep distress. I also heard that his father was going 
to send some one on for him. Major Stevenson's wound, they 
say, is slight. I trust it is so and I am glad to hear that 
young Sargent and Nichols are also only slightly woimded. 

* * * * got a nice letter from you yesterday, 

in which you enclosed for me a photograph of your Lieuten- 
ant-Colonel, who I think is ver>^ handsome. * * * All 
the family send you bushels of love. God ever bless you and 
still preserve you from every danger, is the unceasing prayer 
of your ever affectionate mother." 

For many a long week and month Newbern was to be the 
headquarters of the regiment, and thence hundreds of letters 
were sent to northern homes descriptive of the city, the sur- 
rounding country, expeditions to other points, and of the 
people to whom the Swiss-named place was home and metrop- 
olis. So far as its white inhabitants were concerned, it was 
almost a deserted city in which the Yankees landed on that 
afternoon of IMarch 14tli, '62. Scarcely more than two hun- 
dred of the ruling race had dared to face the invader, and so 
hurried had been the departure of the citizens that marks of 
their haste and fright were apparent everywhere. From one 
vehicle, in its driver's anxiety to make speed, had been 
dropped a piano, a rare find to the soldier boys who had eyes 
out for spoils. If, however, the white masters were nearly 
frenzied in their efforts to escape the Union army, not so 
their colored servitors, to whom "Massa Linkum's" soldiers 
were angels of delivery, and they hastened to express their 
delight at the situation. The Twenty-fourth marched 
through the city and made itself tolerably comfortable in the 

Mar. 14. '62. Newbern. 95 

Fair Grounds, on the banks of the Neiise, in the camp of the 
enemy, who had left even their tents standing, filled with all 
the equipment of an army at rest. There was quite a large 
amount of Confederate clothing found among other items, 
and some of the MassachiLsetts lads, in their muddy condition, 
thought a change while they cleaned and dried their o^\ti 
suits would be desirable, and proceeded to get into the uni- 
forms witliout further ado. One of the boys who had made 
this exchange was much disgusted after he had turned in for 
rest and sleep to be notified by his orderly that he was due for 
patrol duty. No statement that he was tired, that he hadn't 
any clothes (that is, of the right sort), availed; he was told 
that he could wear his overcoat above his rebel duds, and this 
he did for the entire night. Not even the duck slain l)y him 
the following raoi'ning afforded him consolation, for it proved 
to be so tough that he had to throw it away after hours of vain 
effort to boil it tender. He declared the bird dated from 
Noah and the Ark. 

Whatever may have been the expectations of the soldiery 
as to pillage on occupying the city, all speedily saw that noth- 
ing of the kind was to be tolerated. The Twenty-fifth Mas- 
sachusetts was designated as the guards of the homes, and 
though there may have been isolated instances of thieving, 
these boys from New England soon convinced the owners of 
homes in Newbern that thej^ had better return and occupy 
them. Stories are told of some of the absurd pranks cut up 
by occasional depredators, of horses harnessed by negroes at 
the command of northern men and, before carts laden with 
furniture from certain homes, driven to camp. Of course, the 
property taken had not in most instances the least utility for 
the takera, but there was the gratification of inherent mischief 
in disturbing some one, especially if the same were a nominal 
enemy. Among the finds was a history of the United States, 
on whose fly-leaf a young lady had written, evidently for the 
edification of some marauding Yankee, these words : " If this 
book should into a Yankee's hands fall, remember you did 

96 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

force to flee from home and friends, a peaceful family, and 
may the memory forever haunt thee." The presejit possessor 
of the volume says that no ghosts of the "peaceful family" 
have troubled him for his part in their dispossession. 

The 15th proved to be very wet and disagreeable ; boys 
who had clothed themselves in rebel raiment were informed 
that such procedure would not be tolerated, and they must 
return to regular uniforms even if the same were tattered, 
torn and muddy. Rations were scarce on account of the slow 
approach of the commissary stores, and active humanity in an 
enemy's country was not likely to go hungry if it were possi- 
ble to find food therein. Excessive hilarity in one of the 
companies revealed the fact that a barrel of whiskey had been 
discovered on the wharf, and by some mysterious manner 
transported to the camp and hidden away in one of the tents, 
and was affording unwonted delight to the bibulously in- 
olined. The offending liquid was at once seized by the officers 
and turned over to the medical department. Each soldier 
had his own way of securing it, but the day after the battle 
brought needed rest to the officers and men. 

Colonel Stevenson's Report on the Battle of Newbern. 
Camp Near Newbern, March 16, 1862. 

Sir : I beg leave to report that on the morning of the 13th 
inst. my regiment was on board the transports Guide and 
Vidette, which were at anchor in the Neuse River, off the 
mouth of Slocum's Creek. Early in the morning I received 
the signal to prepare to land and, in accordance with the 
order of General Foster, tilled the boats belonging to my 
transports with a part of my men, and fastened them to the 
stern of the steamer Pilot Boy, which came alongside the 
Guide and took the companies that remained on her. There 
was no opposition to our landing, and as soon as the men 
reached the shore I formed them in line of battle. By order 
of General Foster I then advanced my regiment in rear of the 
Massachusetts Twenty-first as far as the railroad, when I took 
the advance on the county road, sending Company E forward 
as an advance guard. I pushed forward as rapidly as the 

]Mak. "62. Newbern. 97 

condition of the road would permit until nio'litfall, when, in 
accordance with General Foster's orders, I filed my regiment 
into the woods on the rig-ht of the road and bivouacked for 
the nicht. The men were somewhat worn out by their ex- 
haustinp' march, but made themselves as comfortable for the 
nig'ht as circumstances would permit. I sent forward Com- 
panies A, E, F and K as a picket guard, and we remained 
undisturbed during the night. 

Early in the morning of the 14th inst. a small party of the 
enemy's cavahy appeared within sight of our picket and was 
fired upon, whereupon I immediately ordered my regim.ent to 
fall in. By order of CTcneral Foster, I then advanced up the 
main road with Company E as an advance guard, until with- 
in sight of the enemy 's intrenchments, and then filed off to the 
right of the road, where I formed my regiment in line of 
battle and advanced to within about fifty paces of the edge of 
the woods, where I halted until my advance guard returned 
from the road. It was at this time that the enemy opened 
fire, wounding two of my men. I immediately advanced my 
regiment out of the woods, where I ordered them to lie down 
and to open fire. The men behaved very well in this position, 
keeping up incessant and well directed fire on the enemy for 
over two hours. 

Owing to the rain and wet to which the guns had been ex- 
posed, many of my men experienced great difficulty in firing 
them, and in many cases had to draw the charges before the 
gTins were of any use. Fort Thompson, on our right, which 
I had supposed had no guns on the land side, opened on us 
with grape and canister from their guns as soon as we got into 
position. We afterwards found that they attempted to bring 
one of their guns on the water side of the liattery to bear on 
our line, but failed, probably from want of time. Finally I 
noticed the fire of the enemy's right slackened, as I supposed, 
from the success and advance of our left. I immediately 
ordered my own regiment forward, and we had advanced but 
a short distance when the enemy turned, stopping only to give 
us one volley of musketry and a round of grape. The enemy 
retreated very precipitately from Fort Thompson as we 
entered, and I only succeeded in capturing six of them. I 
immediately raised the American flag on the parapet to ap- 
prise the gTinlioats of our position. 

By order of CTeneral ^^oster, I left one company in th^e fort, 
selecting for that purpose Company B, and then marched my 


Twenty-fourth ^Iassachusetts Regiment. 

IVIar. '62. Newbern. 99 

regiment forward on the county' road to the raih^oad and up 
the railroad to the Trent River, where I halted them in a large 
field on the left. After remaining there a short time General 
Foster ordered my regiment to cross the river in the gunboat 
Delaware, and other boats that he was using for that purpose, 
and to take possession of the rebel camp in the Fair Grounds 
outside of Newbern. On reaching camp I found my men 
much exhausted by their severe labors since they had landed, 
but was pleased to find that there were comparatively few 

It pains me to close my report by informing you that my 
regiment lost 55 men in killed and wounded during the action, 
a list of whom I herewith transmit. — R. R., Vol. ix, p. 217. 

On the part borne by the Twenty-fourth in the battle, Gen- 
eral Foster said this in his report, dated March 20th : " I must 
mention in my brigade, where all behaved bravely, the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers and the 
Tenth Connecticut Volunteers. The former, under a severe 
fire from musketry in the front, and exposed to a flanking fire 
of grape and canister from Fort Thompson, unprotected by 
the trees, behaved with marked coolness and steadiness. ' ' 

Casualties at Newbern. 

Killed. — Privates Wm. Banns, Cornelius Hendricks, Co. A ; 
John Thomas, Co. C ; Frank C. Brown ; Samuel Lines. 
Wm. Jones, Co. F ; A. J. Merritt, Charles Riley, Co. I ; James 
Moreland, Co. K; James Vincent, Co. B. 

Wounded. — iMajor Robert H. Stevenson, Adjutant Wm. L. 
Horton ; Corporal Charles Baker, Privates John Patterson, 
J. H. Rivers, S. E. Tuttle, Co. A; Sergt. Chas. T. Perkins, 
Privates John W. Bartlett, Justin Carver, Peter Powers, 
Robert Risk, Co. C : Privates H. A. DeRibas, Cyrus Getchell, 
Robert T. Lucas, Chas. B. Saunders, Ephraim Walker, Geo. 
W. AVatrous, Co. D ; First Lieut. Daniel Sargent, Sergt. Wm. 
Arvedson, Corp. G. W. Townsend, Co. E; Privates E. A. Bil- 
lings, Robert Clark, John Glasset, Wm. Lj'on, John IMarshall, 
H. Newbury, Co. F ; Privates A. 0. Cobb, H. S. Gilmore, Geo. 
H. Lingham, M. McDermott, Co. G ; First Lieut. Jas. B. Nich- 


100 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

ols, Co. TI ; Privates A. Anderson, Dennis Fitzgerald, E. R. 
Merritt, Thos. O'Brien, John Shine, E. M. Tucker, Co. I; 
Privates ]\Iichael Grogan, John Hope, Co. K ; Geo. Melntyre, 
Co. B. 

The 16th of March was Sunday, and here, as elsewhere, the 
day was spent very much as the individual felt inclined. The 
churches of the city were wanting in regular pastors, but there 
w^as a goodly number of regimental chaplains to be counted 
on, and men were ordered to fall in and go to meeting, which 
many did; some, not encountering the aide who was to escort 
them, spent the time instead in roaming about the streets, in- 
specting the appointments of the city and drawing conclusions 
as to the value of the captured place. One lad remarks in his 
letter home, "I enjoyed it very much. The streets are well 
laid out with rows of trees on the sides, which are beginning 
to leaf out. There are a great many old darky shanties, and 
some large and handsome houses, having nice gardens with 
flowers all in bloom. I saw many peach trees in full blos- 
som. ' ' 

During the day the Lieutenant-Colonel went out vnih 
four companies to meet a flag of truce which was reported 
coming in. Company B did not remain a great while in 
Fort Thompson, but was soon relieved and joined the 
regiment on the Fair Groimds. While in the fort the 
boys enjoyed an instance of excessive vigilance on 
the part of Lieutenant Edmands, who, it was said, 
was never caught napping. Startled, one day, by an 
unusual noise, he came rushing out of his quarters, buckling 
on his sword and shouting, "Fall in. Company B, lively!" but 
discovering that the noise came from the destroying of the 
rebel barracks he as quickly ordered, "Right face; arms 
port ! March ! ' ' and tlie laugh was on him. One party appro- 
priated and sent home a sewing machine, a double reminder 
to the one receiving, for she might see the careful friend as 
well as the bereft Newbern home. 

]\Ionday, the 17th, w^as St. Patrick's Day, but there was 
little "Wearing of the Green" among the boys in Newbern. A 

Mar. '62. Newbern. 101 

party from the reiiiinent accompanied General Burnside on 
a reconnoissance to Slocum's Creek. The wounded from the 
battle were brought to town, among them being- Stevenson, 
Horton, Sargent and Nichols, the wounded officers of the 
Twenty-fourth, who were taken to headquarters in Judge 
Donnell's house. To curious Yankees, the city still had much 
of interest and some houses whence the occupants had fled 
were inspected in quest of mementoes. However reprehen- 
sible the practice might be, it must be remembered that the 
most of the men were really boys, and they were in the 
enemy's country, a fact which was ever prominent in mind. 
A cavalry escort of the Confederates, bearing a flag of truce 
and accompanying several light wagons, came in almost un- 
noticed, and had nearly made the circuit of the town before 
they were halted, when it appeared that they had come for 
the purpose of burying the dead and carrying off their 

On "Wednesday, the 19th, the regiment embarked for Wash- 
ington*, N. C, on the Tar Eiver. The same was reached by 
sailing do\\^l the Neuse to Pamlico Sound, thence to the north- 
ward, and so into Pamlico River, which soon receives the 
waters of the Tar, on whose northern bank Washington is 
located. The distance by water is said to be about one hun- 
dred miles. There was ample opportunity to inspect the 
obstructions planted in the river by the Confederates, in the 
vain hope that they would prevent the advance of the Union 
fleet. Colonel Stevenson in his report, dated March 23d, 
says : — 

■ Agreeably to orders received from General Foster, I em- 
barked the Twent^^-fourth Regiment, Massachusetts Volun- 
teers, on the 19th inst., on the steamer Guide, and on the morn- 
ing of the 20th, at 7 o'clock, got under way for Washington. 
Followed the gunboats Delaware, Louisiana and Commodore 
Barney. At 7 o'clock, same evening, came to anchor off the 

*In local parlance and among veterans of this war, frequently "Little" 
Washington, in distinction from the national capital. 

102 Twenty-fourth MASSACHUi=iETTS Eegiment. 

mouth of the Pamlico Eiver. The next morning at daylight we 
again got nnder way and at 10 o 'clock arrived within about six 
miles of Washington, when we discovered the enemy's 
deserted batteries without guns, two on the south bank of 
the river and the other on the north. We also here discovered 
a barricade, consisting of piles cut off about three feet below 
the surface. As I found, it would be impossible to carry the 
steamer Guide up to the city, even if the barrier was removed, 
on account of her drawing too much water, I went on board 
the steamer Delaware and conferred with Captain Quacken- 
bush, who kindly offered to take two of the companies up in 
his steamer, and as the Mayor, who had come down to meet 
us, assured us that there were no troops in the city, and as 
all signs confirmed this statement, I placed Companies E 
and G on board the Delaware and steamed up to the city, 
where we found a large number of persons on the wharves. 
I landed the two companies and marched to the 
Court House, where we nailed the Stars and Stripes to a flag- 
pole, which we found in front of the Court House. The band 
played national airs and the men cheered. We then marched 
through some of the principal streets and returned to the 
boat. While in the city not a man left the ranks or behaved 
other^dse than as if on drill. 

I was glad to notice considerable Union sentiment expressed 
by the inhabitants. From quite a number of houses we were 
saluted by waving handkerchiefs, and from one the national 
flag, with the motto, "The Constitution and the Union, "^as 

A large number of the inhabitants expressed a wish that a 
sufficient force might be sent there to protect them against the 
rebels. On returning to the steamer Guide, we found that 
Professor Mallefert had blown up the barrier so as to make a 
channel some sixty feet wide. At six o'clock same evening, 
weighed anchor, and started for Newbern, where we arrived 
on the afternoon of the following dav [21st inst.]. — R. R., 
Vol. ix, p. 269. 

Of the time spent on shore the boys had many stories to tell. 
All agree as to the hoisting of the flag on a mast that before 
had floated a rebel banner. A sailor of the company climbed 
the tree to which the mast was nailed, and taking the staff 
down nailed the Union ensign thereon and replaced it, all 

:\rAR. 19, '62. Wasiiinoton, X. C. 103 

accompanied with the utmost enthusiasm of the troops. The 
companies marched by platoons through some of the principal 
streets and were greeted Avith evident delight by some of the 
citizens, particularly by one lady, a widow, who had been per- 
secuted by the Confederates for her Union sentiments. She 
had spread out on the balustrade in front of her house the 
starry banner with the words, ''Constitution and Union," 
affixed. The soldiers, halting, gave her three heartv' cheers. 
It is claimed that this exhibition on her part provoked a raid 
later, in search of the offending flag, but she had wit enough 
to elude the searchers. Gilmore's Band, as usual, was a reve- 
lation to the native of musical possibilities, and the dulcet 
strains of "Dixie" almost carried the darkies off their feet. 

Every regiment had to take its turn in patrolling the city, 
and the orders were to take to headquarters all persons with- 
out passes. Illustrating the straits to which some of 
the dwellers in the vicinity were reduced, a certain 
Corporal relates that leaving his squad on guard at 
a bridge over the Trent, he went spying out the 
land. He found the plantation of a certain Confederate doc- 
tor who had gone oft' with the enemy. His plantation was 
practically deserted, the able-bodied servants or slaves having 
been carried off with their o^^mer. The Corporal found one 
aged colored woman, eighty or more years old, with a six- 
year-old pickaninny, these being the only occupants of the 
estate. The older woman was skinning a rat which the 
younger was holding by the tail. When asked what she pur- 
posed doing with the animal, she replied, "I'se gwine eat 
him. I 've had no fresh meat in a long time, and I must have 
summat." The teuQler-hearted Yankee said: "You hold on, 
I'll get something better than that for you," and at once 
started off for his comrades at the bridge, and, from them 
obtaining a portion of their rations, hastened back to the 
starving negroes. When he reached the shanty, the negroes 
had gone in and he, entering, poured his gifts upon an old 
table to the thankful words of the old woman, who exclaimed 


a dozen times, "God bless you, Massa." When asked what 
she had done with the rat, she replied: "Et him," and when 
asked how she cooked it, said: "Broil him on de coal." The 
corporal enjoined her not to eat any more vermin and he 
wonld try to see that she was better fed. 

Either the unwonted hot weather, fresh meat, or the water 
the men were obliged to drink, had a debilitating effect upon 
the regiment and serious illness followed, there being several 
eases of typhoid fever, and dysentery was very common, so 
much so that at times a large part of the men had to be ex- 
cused from duty. The region was malarial, and many of 
these Massachusetts soldiers were taking into their systems 
seeds of lifelong illness, subjecting them at intervals to at- 
tacks of chills and fever that only large doses of quinine could 
cure. When the surgeons discovered the strengthening quali- 
ties of whiskey and quinine, and administered the same in 
reasonable potions, the men began to g:et back to their normal 
condition, but they learned that fruit-blossoms and summer 
temperature in the month of ]\Iarch did not necessarily in- 
duce bodily vigor. Of course, there were many Union sol- 
diers in Newbern. but to some the. prevalence of military 
funerals seemed appalling. "It is a daily sight, that of a 
procession from the hospital to the cemetery, to the beat of a 
muffled drum or following the band, playing a death march. 
While getting used to it we are not reconciled." 

To show the buoyancy of the youthful mind it might be 
stated that the same private who grew sad over funerals could 
in the very next paragraph of his letter write : " I have tip- 
top times here. We have got our old tents again for the first 
time since leaving Annapolis, except the few days ashore at 
Hatteras. I saw some strawberry blossoms the other day, and 
we shall have strawberries soon. Colonel Stevenson has been 
made a Brigadier-General, commanding the brigade, and Col- 
onel Upton of the Twenty-fifth has resigned. The contra- 
bands are plenty here. They all chew tobacco and smoke — 
men, women and children, even little girls, chew. All the 

Mar. '62. 



PfOfil sketch by Lieut. J. M. Barnard, Co. G. 


negroes we meet on the street salute us as we pass." The 
camp bears the name of Lee, not for the Confederate chief- 
tain, but for Colonel Henry Lee of Governor Andrew's staff, 
a firm friend of the regiment. 

On Tuesday, the 25th, in obedience to an order of General 
Foster, issued the day before, Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn, 
with six companies of the Twenty-fourth, boarded the Ptlot 
Boy at daybreak, provided with two days' cooked rations, the 
object being to intercept and capture certain North Carolina 
troops said to be near the upper waters of the Neuse. The 
objective point was Big Swift Creek, possibly twenty miles up 
the river. Colonel Osborn was not to penetrate the country' 
further than seven miles, and he was to use his discretion 
about going even this distance. The whereabouts of Captain 
Lane's company was specially desired. But the trip was 
doomed to failure, for the vessel had not proceeded far ere it 
ran upon some water-logged stumps, from which the most 
strenuous efforts failed to dislodge the steamer. However, 
some natives, on their way to Newbern with fish, came along- 
side and, being questioned, gave such information as 
prompted the Colonel to call the expedition off. Accordingly, 
surf -boats which had been in tow were loaded with soldiers 
and taken ashore, the same being repeated till the Pilot Boy 

106 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

was sufficiently lightened to float, when she steamed up to a 
wharf and landed the remainder of the men, whence the entire 
party marched back to camp, thus ending the trip. Though 
the sun shone, the men foimd the day rather cold. 

On Saturday, the 29th, the i-egiment went out on a tour of 
picket duty, going towards Batchelder's Creek, which was to 
last three days. Company G was left in camp. The regi- 
ment was divided into two parties under the respective com- 
mand of Colonel Stevenson and Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn. 
That part led by the Lieutenant-Colonel met with no adventure 
worthy of record, but the Colonel's detachment had a little 
excitement as follows. It appears that our forces were not 
supplied with cavalry and that for substitutes, artillery men 
were used. On this occasion some members of the Third New 
York Artillerv^ were along in the capacity of scouts. Four of 
the men of the Twenty-fourth were in advance of the main 
body and two horsemen were in adA'ance of them. This was 
on ^Monday, the third day out. Suddenly a great shout was 
heard in the distance, and one of our mounted men was seen 
coming down the road at a gallop, chased by some sixty of 
the enemy's cavalry, one of whom was close beside the fleeing 
Yankee and cutting him with his sabre. The horse that the 
Union man was riding was only an artillery beast, and so none 
too speedy, hence the lighter mounted rebel was upon him 
easily. "Fire! Fire! Why don't you fire?" shouted the 
Federal, but so close was he to the rebel that our men feared 
to shoot lest they hit their friend. However, when the Johnny 
was about fifty feet from our four men, one of them. Private 
Wm. Reynolds of Company I, with the cool remark, "You've 
gone about far enough," drew a careful bead on the reb, and 
shot him through the breast, killing him instantly. The other 
men fired at the Confederates who were riding, and 
wounded one of them, who would have fallen from his horse 
had not his comrades supported him. Being thus checked, 
and seeing the Union forces drawn up in line only a little way 
further, the enemy evidently thought discretion the better 

IMar. 29. '62. Batciielder's Creek. 107 

part of valor and Avithclrew. The soldier who thns escaped 
had his head somewhat injured, but he recovered soon, a fact 
not at all creditable to the skill of his assailant nor to the 
sharpness of the latter 's weapon. Colonel Stevenson, with two 
companies, went ont some distance in pursuit of the Confed- 
erates, but did not encoimter them. 

As to the rebel killed, his foemen dealt honorably with his 
remains. All that was left of him was the form of a fine 
looking man, heavily armed, and the steed he had bestrode was 
a noble one. All this, however, availed nothing in the face 
of death, and there remained only the final office possible for 
him, and his opponents hollowed a shallow grave and laid 
him therein. Then they placed at his head a board, on which 
they wrote, as time and conveniences would permit, the words, 
"Killed by the picket of the 24th Reg't. Mass. Vols." How 
many of that burial party were reminded of the "Burial of 
Sir John ]Moore, ' ' which all must have learned in their recent 
school days? Friends of the dead soldier came a short time 
afterw^ards and removed his body to permanent and better 

Vei*y soon after the occupation of Newbern, General Foster 
was appointed Military Governor, and early in April there 
was a reorganization of the troops of the department. The 
forces which formerly had constituted three brigades, now, 
with some additions, became as many divisions, with their 
respective commanders acting major generals. Each division 
had two brigades, and the Twenty-fourth, with the Twenty- 
seventh Massachusetts and the Tenth Connecticut, constituted 
the Second Brigade of the First Division under General Fos- 
ter. Col. Thos. J. C. Amory,* an older brother of Lieut. Chas. 

*Colonel Amory was a graduate of West Point, J 851, and was a cap- 
tain in the 7th Infantry when the war began. Appointed to the com- 
mand of the Seventeenth Massachusetts, he won the thorough regard of 
his men and soon placeil the organization on a high level of efficiency. 
In October, '64, just after he had been brevetted Brigadier General, his 
wife died suddenly from yellow fever. Returning from her funeral, he 
was himself stricken with the dread disease and died on the 6th, deeply 

108 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

B. Aniory of Company F of the Twenty-fourth, and in com- 
mand of the Seventeenth ^Nfassachusetts, which arrived at 
Newbern on the 2d of April, was placed over the First Brig- 
ade, while the command of the Second Brigade devolved 
up'on Col. Thos. G. Stevenson of the Twenty-fourth. Truly, 
the novitiate of those days in Fort Independence was bearing 
early fruit. Scarcely more than six months from the muster- 
in of the regiment, and its first Colonel is promoted. The 
order of General Burnside bringing about this change in the 
arrangement of the regiments is dated April 2, 1862. 

Of couree, this advance of the Colonel necessitated other 
stepping up, and Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn became acting 
Colonel, and INIajor R. H. Stevenson being absent, wounded, 
Capt. Chas. H. Hooper of E Company became Lieutenant- 
Colonel for the nonce. In these days of change and promo- 
tion marked improvements were wrought in the camp, in 
which, with the tents belonoing to the regiment and with san- 
itary provisions, apparently, never dreamed of by the Confed- 
erates, in the delightful spring weather of the old North 
State, these ^Massachusetts men were making themselves as 
comfortable as they could be away from home. Yet there was 
always a sighing f6r the food from the home table, and officers 
even were not exempt from wishing for a box from home. 
When one such came, the motherly sender wrote with that 
consideration for her son's friends so characteristic of the 
truly generous: "I wish you to allow Bob Clark, Johnny 

lamented by all who knew him. inu^trative of the universality of en- 
listments in those days, it should be stated that at the time of Colonel 
Amory's death, there were in Newbern two other brothers, William A., 
a major, and R. G. , a lieutenant in the 2d Mass. Heavy ArtiUery, Major 
A. just escaping death from the same ailment. The Army and Navy 
Journal of the 22d pays the deceased officer the highest tribute for his 
manly and soldierly worth. His four children thus suddenly orphaned 
were sent to Boston to be reared by his mother, who nobly discharged 
her duty. The youngest, a babe in arms when the mother died, on the 
passing away of her grandmother, was taken by her Uncle Charles and 
became a member of his family in New Orleans, where she eventually 

Apr. 2, '62. Newbern. 109 

Jones and young Thompson to participate in the eatables I 
send. Perhaps you mio-ht also offer some to Dr. Green, who, 
I douht not, has been kind and attentive to you." 

So far as war was concerned there was little to disturb, save 
as baseless rumors of the approach of vast rebel arrays put 
the officers and men on their guard. On the 8th of April the 
paymaster appeared and made glad the hearts of the men who 
always were in want of money. Two months' pay found its 
way into their hands, but, with characteristic thoughtfulness, 
a large part of it was immediately sent home. Seldom did 
the soldier forget the dear ones there. 

It was not all play in Newbern, though contact with the 
enemy was, for the most part, confined to picket interviews. 
There was the building of a fort for the better protection of 
the city, the rebuilding of the bridge across the Trent, and 
general guard duty in and about the city itself. To facilitate 
reaching the picket locality and, at the same time, afford to 
the men a healthier camping place, under General Foster's 
order, the Twenty-fourth, on the 15th of April, moved out 
towards Kinston between four and five miles, and re-estab- 
lished itself in a heavy growth of hard pine, the tree which so 
long has been the foundation of North Carolina's wealth. A 
clearing had been made in the forest, boards were taken from 
outbuildings of a deserted plantation for use in flooring the 
tents, young pines were set out for ornament near the tents, 
and altogether the boys thought themselves quite comfortable. 
For several days the wind had blown steadily from the East, 
and the weather had not the sununery feel of the earlier days 
of the month. When the left wing came up on the 16th, the 
heat had again become excessive, and there was a deal of 
straggling, and among the laggards were two membei^ of the 
band who, late in the afternoon, came marching in playing 
"Yankee Doodle," "Wait for the Wagon," and such popular 
airs, and as their two instruments were not over-well adapted 
to each other the result provoked a deal of merriment among 
the listeners. Some of the colored people of the vicinity who 

110 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

were holding down the old plantations began their self-help 
scheme of living by establishing a milk route in the camp, and 
for their own good and comfort, a safeguard was provided 
for them. Three deserters, coming in on the 27th, stated that 
the enemy was moving back from Kinston. 

On Sunday, the 20th, at six o'clock in the afternoon, relig- 
ious services were held in the woods, which the poet has pro- 
claimed God's first temples, and were of interest to all at- 
tending. Owing to reports of rebel activity, Company I was 
sent to the assistance of Captain Eichardson's men, who were 
on the outpost, while Captain Prince with his Company D 
went out through the woods opposite to reconnoitre. The 
alarm proved to be little more than a provocation to exercise 
for the men. That the boys have eyes and are using them is 
evident in the letters which they were sending home. One of 
them remarks on the fact that slaves, to their masters, are no 
better than cattle, and then with the thought of the baby he 
had left at home, the writer says : ' ' Colored babies are pretty, 
though they do not play like ours. ' ' Another Bay State native, 
with bucolic proclivities, describes the cotton field through 
which his picket duty lies, and his desire to send home some 
specimen bolls, and does find room in his missive for several 
cotton seeds, which he enjoins his brother to plant and see 
whether they will grow in the North. Loving friends in the 
far-away homes were sending frequent reminders of their 
regard in the shape of boxes of clothing and provisions, luxu- 
ries which the regular commissariat did not supply. 

Lest the men should become indolent through remaining 
too long in one place, orders were issued on the 25th for the 
regiment to pack up and to be ready to move. As usual, the 
orders were a bit premature, for, though wagons carried off 
some of the camp effects, the men were obliged to spend the 
night in the camp, and, as their commander records, had he 
been less prompt in obeying orders the regiment might have 
remained there some time longer, a condition that all would 
have appreciated on account of location and surroundings. As 

Apr. 26, '62. Newbern. Ill 

it was, the tramp to Newbern was taken in the midst of rain, 
the soldiers savino- : " It always rains when the Twenty- fourth 
moves," and through mud fully shoe deep. At last they 
reach a large freight depot in the city, and many camp therein 
for the night, wet through to the skin and, though doing the 
usual amount of grumbling, thankful that it is no worse. 
Companies A, H and K were left on picket at the railroad 
crossing. "When the flood had subsided, tents were pitched 
by some of the companies on the banks of the Neuse in the 
Fair Grounds. Straw is given out to add to the comfort of 
sleeping, and it is remarked that nothing so luxurious has 
been had since Readville. 

On this day, the 26th, comes the glad news of the capture 
of Fort Macon and, thereby, connection with the open sea is 
hastened. The siege was brief and the Union killed was only 
one man. The 27th, though Sunday, was devoted to getting 
the camp in order, i. e., finding boards for tent-floors, build- 
ing a brick oven in which the Massachusetts soldier was to 
have his favorite beans baked, and in doing a hundred things 
essential to making the camp shipshape. To these men from 
the North it seemed strange to pick ripe strawberries in April, 
the 25th, and to see winter rye as high as the observer's 
shoulders. Tuesday, the 29th, saw the arrival of 375 Con- 
federate prisoners taken at Fort Macon, and their safe incar- 
ceration in the local jail, which nmst have been crowded. The 
next day the regiment was mustered for pay, and was in- 
spected by the Lieutenant-Colonel, with Capt. P. W. Hudson 
of General Foster's staff. Capt. E. E. Potter, also of General 
Foster's staff, is appointed Colonel of a Union regiment, to be 
raised in North Carolina, with headquarters in Washington. 

May day is noteworthy in that Captain Redding, with his 
Company A, is ordered to "Washington, N. C, as a support to 
Colonel Potter in his efforts to raise the loyal regiment. The 
detachment on the Pilot Boy got away at 6 p.m. May 2d 
came the raising of a flagstaff and the hoisting of the Union 
colors, with appropriate music by the band. May 4th Cap- 

112 Twenty-fourth ]Massachusetts Regiment. 

tain Reddinc!: wrote to the Lieiitenant-Colonel, g'iving the par- 
ticulars of his arrival at Washington, and of the situation in 
recruiting for the new regiment. His men are quartered in 
a warehouse near the river, a gunboat commands the principal 
street, and pickets are posted all around the city. No rebels 
are in sight, quite a number of the inhabitants left on the ap- 
proach of the Federals, and the Captain fears that enrollment 
will not be overbrisk. He has very little confidence in the 
Union sentiments of the citizens. The lady who hung out the 
Union flag when the regiment visited the place has been 
threatened by the other people, and to escape arrest ascribes 
the act to her child. Also those who waved handkerchiefs 
have been menaced by the Secesh. 

In the evening of May 4th the soldiers in Newbern celebrate 
the recent capture of New Orleans by an exhibition of fire- 
ball throwing, making a brilliant display. The next day 
came official recognition of the New Orleans event in the 
firing of salutes from Fort Totten, which is the new fortifica- 
tion reared by the soldiers under the direction of Generals 
Burnside and Foster. It is a fine piece of military engineer- 
ing, located on the western outskirts of the city, and mount- 
ing twenty guns and three mortars. The variability of North 
Carolina Aveather in these days of May was apparent in alter- 
nate rain and sunshine with some most violent hailstorms, 
which covered the groimd at times with bits of ice as large as 
playing marbles. Occasionally the rain defied even the tents, 
and the drenched occupants could only wait the abatement of 
the storm for comfort. 

One of the boys in a letter, home vividly describes 
a hailstorm of this season as follows: "One day 
we had a regular hailstorm ; it lasted about half an hour ; 
first it began to sprinkle, then the large drops came, then 
hailstones poured down as big as robins' eggs. The 
boys were out playing ball when it commenced sprinkling, 
and as they thought it wasn't going to be much 
of a shower, they kept right on playing, when all 

^r.\Y 9, "(i2. Washington, N. C. 113 

of a siuUlt'ii came the stones, and the bi)ys put for their t;nits, 
hoklinii- onto tlieir heads and yelling with pain. The ground 
was covered with the stones in a few minutes, and at night 
there was a lMg i)uddle of water back of our tent and there 
was a k)t of frogs in the water. They must have rained down 
in the storm, for till then there was not a sign of a frog 
around here. Queer weather here ! One day is cloudy and 
it sprinkles. The next will be so hot that you fairly melt; 
then comes the thunder-storm, enough to take your head off." 

Owing to the illness of his sou, Sergt. J. C. Edmands of 
Company K, the regiment is having a visit from the Hon. J. 
Wiley Edmands of Boston, and he makes an entertaining 
addition to the officers' mess. ]\Iay 7th news arrives that 
Yorktown is evacuated by the enemy, and that McClellan is 
in pursuit ; also that Norfolk is given up and the Merrimac 
burned. Taking the report as truth the men build bonfires, 
and with as much noise as they can reasonably make, they 
celebrate the victory. The next day the regiment is reviewed 
and inspected by General Foster, who is so much pleased 
with his observations that he suggests Colonel Osborn's tak- 
ing his men down to the headquarters of General Burnside. 
The latter is exceedingly pleased with the appearance of the 
regiment, and declares that regulars could do no better. 
Some envious folks even call the regiment " Burnside 's 
Pets." The pleasure of the men was not a little enhanced 
by the fact that, among the reviewing officers, they descried 
Colonel Stevenson, now their Brigade Connnander, and to 
whom so much of their proficiency was due. 

Writing from Washington on the 9th, Captain Redding 
gives the incidents attending the shooting of two of his 
pickets, members of the North Carolina regiment. One was 
killed outright and the other wounded so that death followed 
amputation of a leg. Evidently the enemy was trying the 
mettle of the small party of Union soldiers, but the latter 
were found ready. The shooting of the pickets the Captain 
pronounces most brutal in that they were beaten over the 


head by the guns of the assailants. He thinks his force too 
small for the duty required and craves more men. ]\Iay 11 
the Captain announces the arrival of Companies C and F 
•with twenty cavalrymen, and his pleasure at the reinforce- 
ment. Acting Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper is in command. 

Two bitter Secessionists, William Grist and Stanley, 

have been arrested, and Captain Redding' thinks they were 
among those attacking the pickets two days before. On the 
same date Captain Hooper writes as to his observations and 
states that injustice had been done Captain Redding and his 
men by the report that they had taken refuge on the gun- 
boat when a rebel attack seemed imminent. 

May 13th Colonel Osborn went across the river with Gen- 
eral Foster to see the review of the Third New York Cavalry. 
On the 15th pay-day comes again, and the Colonel, in 
the absence of Captain Hooper, sends checks for Company E 
to Boston to the amount of nearly $1100. One private, out 
of his $26, sends $22 home. Of such home-loving material 
was the Union army made. Lieutenant Horton, acting Ad- 
jutant, who was wounded at Newbern, continues in a preca- 
rious condition, but he has had his arm operated on by Sur- 
geon Green and hopes are entertained for his recovery. His 
father and mother have visited him, and his mother expects 
to remain till he is able to be moved. Despite their being in 
the enemy's country, the men are finding life rather monoto- 
nous and the arrival and expectation of the mail is one of the 
chief reliefs to the tedium. Edward Stanly, the newly ap- 
pointed Military Governor of the State, arrives May 26th. 
He is to the manor born, but his return is not over-welcome 
to the natives. The next day a large party of Union prison- 
ers, who had been held since the Battle of Bull Run, comes 
into Newbern in exchange for Confederates captured at 
Roanoke, so said, and are marched aboard the Cossack on 
their way north- They are visited by many of the Union 
officers, and the band of the Twenty-fourth gives them a sere- 

]May '62. Xewbern. 115 

nade. It must have seemed like heavenly music to their mel- 
ody-famished ears. 

]\Iay 30 the fathers of Captain Richardson and Lieutenant 
Barnard of Company G presented each man in the company 
with a havelock for better protection against sunstroke and, 
there being some left over, gave them also to Companies K 
and B. The care of the good women of Boston for the wel- 
fare of the men at the front may be realized in a letter from 
the mother of a captain to her son, stating that she was about 
sending 100 pairs of socks for his men, the donors, six in 
number, representing some of the oldest and most 
famous names in that great centre of respectability. 
The month ends with general dissatisfaction over Governor 
Stanly's closing of schools for the colored people. He also 
was accused of returning negroes to former masters, and, in 
general, being out of keeping with his surroundings. Though 
at the time of his appointment as Military Governor a resi- 
dent of California, Edward Stanly was a native of Newbern, 
had been a Representative in Congress from that State for ten 
years, but appeared quite unable to rid himself of the barna- 
cles of tradition, and some months later the administration 
at Washington was compelled to remove him. Since the 
engagement on the 11th of March, when the defenses of New- 
bern Avere carried, there had been very little of a warlike 
nature for the Twenty-fourth to undergo. There had been 
a show of preparation ; drills, inspections and parades had 
not been neglected ; guard and picket duty had become famil- 
iar to all ; much of sickness had been undergone ; in a word, 
the school of the soldier had been in session all the time, but 
of experience in facing the enemy there had been very little. 
Other parts of the expedition had carried and occupied Beau- 
fort, Fort Macon, and other places of less importance, but 
the paucity of Burnside's outfit forbade undertaking much 
that he had expected and would be glad to do. The nation's 
capital was so near the seat of North Carolina war that plans 
and purposes of those in command were easily thwarted. 


With reports of Union successes from New Orleans, the Pe- 
ninsiihi, the West, and, with the general quiet about them, is 
th(!t'c any wonder that men of oui- regiment were wondering 
if the next pay-day would not find them in Boston? How 
fortunate that heaven from all creatures hides the book of 
fate. Many a heart had grown sick of weary Avaiting had 
it known the years of service yet in store for the Twenty- 

June, 1862, opened on Sunday and, like good Christian 
Yankees, there was church attendance on the part of many 
who went into the city in squads, under the direction of non- 
commissioned officers. The heat was intense, and j)ossibly 
there was some excuse for the somnolence of a certain ser- 
geant, subse(|uently a captain, who fell so soundly asleep 
that his comi-ades left him in his pew and he was locked in, 
thus necessitating his return to camp long after the orthodox 
time, and his chevrons did not prevent his receiving the pun- 
ishment due such an oft'ense. He could not have fared worse 
in the Puritanical days of his ancestors when sleejiing in the 
sanctuary was almost an unpardonable ott'ense. The next 
day, notwithstanding the intense heat, there was a <lrill of 
Ceneral Stevenson's brigade, the General being little dis- 
posed to concede anything to the weather." On the 3d there 
was a review of Foster's division in the presence of Governor 
Stanly and General Burnside, and, as usual, the regiment 
came in for a deal of praise from both Foster and Burnside. 
The constant drill to which the men were subjected was pro- 
ductive of most salutary results whenever a strait came. This 
day the Pilot Boy came in from Washington, N. C, having 
aboard several otficers of the Twenty-fourth, who stated that 
the force in Washington was not sufficient to repel an attack 
of the enemy which they thought impending. 


At 10 p.m. of the 3d General Stevenson ordered Colonel 
Osborn to have his regiment on board the Pilot Boy inside of 

June 'G2. Newbern. 117 

two hours, en route for Washington. In an hour and a half 
the companies were on the wharf, but the boat had not ar- 
rived. Just as a severe shower began, the craft came up and 
three companies, with the Cok)ne], went on board, leaving 
the other four (three companies, A, C and F, were already at 
Washington) under Captain Maker to follow on the Lancer. 
This day Colonel Osborn had received the following letter 
from Ceneral Foster, which, free from the formalism of such 
communications generally, is all the more readable : 

]\Iy dear Colonel : 

I wish merel}^ to say that all military movements connected 
with the defense of Washington, N. C, or with an attack on 
the rebels in the vicinity of that town will be under your 
command, inasmuch as Colonel Potter's commission is as yet 
only Acting Colonel, while yours is that of a real Lieutenant- 
Colonel commanding a regiment. 

If you have a nice little chance of thrashing those scoun- 
drels up there, do not hesitate to do it, and when you get 
them on the run, please remember to give them unmitigated 
thunder in their rear. 

Colonel Potter is ^lilitary Governor of the town and will 
cordially act with you. I have written him by this mail to 
this effect. 

Keep Colonel Stevenson advised of every movement by 
every boat. 

Ever yours most truly. 

J. G. Foster. 

There are two excellent stories of the affairs of a few fol-' 
lowing days, one the formal report of Colonel Osborn to bri- 
gade headquarters, the other his letter home, soon after the 
events. For interest the latter, dated June 11, is preferred: 

We left our camp all standing, the cooks left their uten- 
sils, except a couple of kettles each, and the officers their 
baggage, having time only to throw the things that were scat- 
tered about their tents hastily into trunks and boxes. The 
commissary and the few convalescents were left as a guard, 
and everybody else marched with the regiment. Just as we 
reached the wharf the rain came down in torrents and we got 

118 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

thoroughly drenched before goinji- on the boat. But that we 
are also used to. We always move in the rain. As the Pilot 
Boy, which came up to the wharf, could accommodate only 
three companies. I put the other companies into an empty 
building- near by to Avait for the other boat under command 
of Captain ^laker. and went with the three on board the Pilot 
Boy myself, in order to be with the first arrival. We sailed 
early in the morning and reached this place [Washington] at 
6 p.m. 

Colonel Potter, the ^Military Governor of the town, told me 
that the enemy's forces were at Tranter's Creek, about eight 
miles distant, probably meditating an attack upon the town, 
as their leader, Colonel Singietary. was a reckless man who 
would not be likely to be restrained by prudential considera- 
tions. He proposed that we should march and attack them 
before they could hear of the arrival of reinforcements, and 
give them a lesson they should remember. I omitted to men- 
tion that three pieces of artillery also came up in the boat 
under my orders. There was also a cavalry company in 
town. Having so large a force I determined to adopt Col- 
onel Potter's idea and to start as soon as the other companies 
should arrive. As I was expecting them every minute I 
hoped to get away at daylight and was up till half-past one 
making my preparations. At 3 a.m. I found that the com- 
panies had not come and they did not finally arrive till 
6 a.m. This delayed our departure and we did not take up 
the line of march till a quarter past nine. I had eight com- 
panies of the Twenty-fourth, two, C and D, having been left 
to guard the town, and two pieces of artillery. ]\Iy eight 
companies had 430 men, and the two howitzers were manned 
by twelve men each. 

The weather was oppressively warm, and but for the gath- 
ering clouds which shielded us from the sun, it would have 
been unbearable. A short time after we set out it began to 
rain, which refreshed us and cooled the air somewhat. We 
hailed it as a happy omen, for it had rained at the battles of 
Roanoke and Xewbern. We marched for seven miles with- 
out any incident of note. We were then one mile from a 
bridge over Tranter's Creek on the Greenville road, the one 
we were pursuing, and we learned that the rebels had ren- 
dered it impassable, but that another bridge, upon another 
road leading to the right, could probably be crossed. This 
was two miles off. After consultation with Colonel Potter I 

June 5, '62. Tranter's Creek. 11 !> 

detennined to try this bridge and turned otf to tlie i-ight. 
Just as we did so our advance giiard saw a man apparently 
endeavoring- to get out of the way, and they gave chase and 
l)rought him to me. He protested his innocence and insisted 
that he was out only to hoe some potatoes, but as appearances 
were against him I ordered him to be taken along lest he 
should give information to the enemy. His name was Howard. 
8oon we came in sig-ht of the mill through which the In-idge 
ran. We inquired of a woman at a house near by whether 
she had seen troops in the vicinity, and she replied that she 
had not seen one foi- a week. We afterwards learned that 
some rebel officers were at that house when we came in sigrht. 
From the house a road ran a winding course, bordered thickly 
with trees and shrubs, to a point on which was situated the 
first mill. On the right was the mill pond, and on the left 
the spread of the stream, after passing through the sluice- 

Tlie road ran over the dam and directly through these 
three mills, which were situated about thirty feet apart. The 
banks of the stream were thickly wooded on each side. Our 
advance passed along this winding road to the first mill and 
then saw that the enemy (who, as we heard, had been warned 
of our approach by a man living- on the road) had torn up 
the f^oor of the third mill and made it into a barricade, be- 
hind which their advance was lying, not more t^ian thirty 
paces off. Our men immediately fired and received a volley 





P.-ncil >krt(li by Li.-ut. .1. Vl. Barnard, Co. G. 


120 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

in reply, which caused them to fall 1)ack, and wounded Lieut. 
H. D. Jarves severely in the ankle. I immediately ordered 
the artillery to the front with two companies to support 
them. By some misunderstanding of my order the whole 
regiment advanced into the tire instead of what I had ordered 
and, as ordering them back would be a hazardous experiment, 
involving the danger of creating a panic among the men, 
through their ignorance of my motive, I ordered all to lie 
down and keep close. One howitzer now commenced firing 
through the mills at a thicket about fifty paces distant, where 
we supposed the main body of the enemy was lying. As 
their advance had retired after tiring we could see no one, 
and could only judge by the flash and the noise where they 
were. At first the fire of the enemy was rapid and well 
directed, and the sound of the balls showed that they were 
well provided with rifles. For a while the balls flew around 
me thicker than at Newbern, and I had many narrow escapes. 
Our fire was not so heavy as theirs was in the beginning, 
for from the conformation of the ground I could put only a 
few men, say sixty or seventy, in a position to fire, but our 
artillery did good service, besides making a terrible noise, 
which always has a powerful moral effect. In fifteen min- 
utes the enemy's fire had slackened considerably, and it con- 
tinued to grow less and less, but we could not charge, for the 
bridge between us was impassable except to one man at a time 
cling-iiig along the side, and in order to repair it, it was neces- 
sary to drive the rebels away with our fire, since had any 
one attempted it while they were there, he would have met 
with certain death, inasmuch as he would have prevented our 
fire entirely while within thirfrv^ paces of that of the enemy. 
At last we discovered a large number of men in the trees on 
the opposite bank and gave them two or three rounds of can- 
ister. This cleared the trees thoroughly and stopped the fire 
altogether. We could then see the enemy running a long 
way down the opposite bank of the creek and, from their 
appearance, judged they were in great confusion. We then 
repaired the bridge sjufKciently for foot passengers, and I 
marched the infantry across. To make it suitable for cavalry 
and artillery would have taken several hours, so they 
remained on our side. We found three dead bodies of the 
rebels and saw an enormous quantity of blood, from which 
we judged their loss must have been very large. We have 
since learned that Colonel Singletarv, their leader, was killed 

June 5, '62. Tranter's Creek. 121 

among the first by a ritie l)all in his forehead, that their h)ss 
was very larg'e, and that they fled in the utmost terror, not 
stopping until they reached Tarboro, more than thirty miles 

In their fright they became scattered through the woods, 
and we learn from contraliands that they continue coming 
into Tarboro every day. We accomplished our purpose and 
gave them a lesson that they will undoubtedly remember. 
Having routed them and occupied their ground, and being 
unable to pursue them because the bridge was not safe for 
the passage of cavalry, I marched the regiment bg-ck to 
our position pi-eparatory to returning home. As the regi- 
ment moved slowly back over the temporary bridge, I saw the 
man, Howard, whom we had taken. On inquiry, I found 
that the person into whose charge he had been given belonged 
to a company that was in the heaviest of the fire, and that 
he had held fast to his captive all the time, keeping him in 
the storm of bullets, from ^which, however, he escaped 
unharmed. You can imagine his feelings. I do not pity him 
at all, for 1 am sure he would have given information against 
us if he had not already done so. Still, I should not. have 
exposed him to so much danger if he had occurred to my 
mind, but I never gave him a thought. We were more than 
an hour placing the dead and wounded in carts, for we had 
six killed and six wounded in the Twenty-fourth, and one 
killed and two wounded in the artillery. The fight began at 
2.45 p.m., and ended at 3.30. At five o'clock we set out for 
town, getting there before nine, having marched eighteen 
miles in the heat of the day. I was on horseback ten hours. 

My officers and men behaved splendidly and deserve great 
praise. The hardest thing a soldier is called upon to do is to 
remain passive under fire, and this a large part of the regi- 
ment was compelled to do. The artillery was very well man- 
aged by Lieut. Wm. R. Avery, who showed himself a plucky 
fellow and was complimented in ray report. I think the 
fight will have an excellent effect upon the Secesli and con- 
vince them that some things can be done as well as others. 
While they thought us shaking with apprehension of an 
attack from them, we were in reality marching to fight them 
in their chosen position, and a superb one for defense it was. 
Notwithstanding every advantage of ground, they were 
routed utterly. What would be their fate should they come 
to Washington, where we would have the choice of position 

122 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

and the help of the g-nnbdats besides ? This (inestion will, 
doubtless, suggest itself to them and keep them at a respect- 
ful distance. 

There was one delightful feature connected with this 
affair which made it more pleasant than either Roanoke or 
Newbern. I mean that, after it I returned to a first-rate 
supper in an elegant house, and after a bath went to sleep in 
g good bed. Was not that a pleasant conclusion to the day's 
work? The privations and hardships of a soldier's life have, 
at last, reduced me to having my headquarters in a large Wo- 
story house, situated on a pleasant street, running by the side 
of the river. The only furniture I have in my chamber is a 
marble-top centre table, marble-top bureau with toilet glass, 
black walnut rocking-chair, and half a dozen chairs that do 
not rock; bedstead, large desk, at which I am now writing; 
lounge and marble mantel clock. I am compelled to take my 
meals off of china with a gilt edge, placed on a mahogany 
table in a large dining-room. The house contains only eight 
rooms besides the kitchen, which is separate, and there are 
five of us crowded into it. Don't you feel a sentiment of 
pity for me? If you do not, perhaps you will when I tell 
you that we may have to leave suddenly at any moment. 

From the formal report of Colonel Osborn the following 
additional items are gleaned. The enemy Avas supposed to be 
gathered between Washington and Pactolus, a village on the 
Greenville road, about twelve miles distant. The cavalry 
escort was of the Third New York, under the command of 
Lieut. Geo. F. Jocknick. Captain Nichols of the gunboat 
Picket was ordered to proceed up the Tar River and to shell 
the woods between the river and the road as the troops 
advanced, and this he did effectually. In the fight Company 
A, Captain Redding, was disposed on the left of the artillery 
under cover of the logs and beams of the mill, and Company 
F, Captain Clark, was ordered to advance to the support of 
the artillery. This was when the whole regiment advanced, 
contrary to the Colonel's expectation.. When the advance 
was made over the relaid bridge, all went over except Com- 
pany K, Captain Maker, which was left to support the artil- 
lery. The force of the enemy supposedly numbered 450 men 

June 5, '62. Tranter's Creek. 128 

of the Forty-fourtli Xortli Carolina, with seventy cavalry- 
men. Special mention is made of the services of Capt. R. F. 
Clark. Co. F ; Capt. C. H. Hooper, acting Lieutenant-Colo- 
nel; Lieut. Albert Ordway, acting- Adjutant; Capt. W. F. 
Redding, Co. A; Lieut. J. C. Jones, Co. F; Capt. John Da- 
land and Lieut. Charles C. Ward, Co. H; Capt. E. C. Rich- 
ardson and Lieut. J. ]\r. Barnard, Co. G, all of whom were in 
the front and bore well their parts. The officers of compa- 
nies that did not reach the firing line were also deserving of 
credit in their remaining passive while under a fire which 
they could not return. Obligations are also acknowledged to 
Colonel E. E. Potter of the First North Carolina [Union] 
Volunteers, and to Lieut. J. M. Pendleton of the latter 's statf, 
both accompanying the expedition, for valuable assistance 
and advice. — R. R., Vol. ix. p. 340. 

Confederate accounts of the affray are meagre, and in the 
condensed history of the Forty-fourth North Carolina only 
these words are found bearing on the subject: "Colonel 
George B. Singletary was killed in a skirmish with Federal 
troops at Tranter's Creek June 5, 1862. He was an officer of 
extraordinary merit, and would have unquestionably 
attained high distinction but for his premature death." He 
was succeeded in the command of the regiment by his 
brother, Thomas C. Singletary. Reference is later made to 
the day and event thus: "Save the skirmish at Tranter's 
Creek, which, though otherwise unimportant, was to the regi- 
ment most unfortunate in that its accomplished commander 
lost his life." 

Enlisted men had eyes and, not having the responsibility 
of the venture, possibly they used said eyes with reference to 
their surroundings quite as much as did their officers. One 
diarist says that Company A was thrown out as skirmishers, 
and Company F as advanced guard ; then came the cavalry, 
and afterwards Company H. The weather was like that of 
dog days, not a breath of air stirring, and a constant drizzle 
was like a thick fog. While at first much fatigued, the men 

124 T"v\rENTY-F0URTH JMassachusetts Eegijvient. 

seemed to be refreshed as they proceeded, and though the 
water was sometimes up to the knees, the marching was not 
the worst ever seen. The farms on l)oth sides of the route 
seemed to be well tilled, and one observer declared he passed 
through a cornfield two miles long, by far the most extensive 
he ever saw. The Marines, to whom was intrusted the artil- 
lery were not above lightening their own labors, for, 
if they saw an old horse or mule in the fields, 
they made haste to capture the same and in some way attach 
him to the guns for draft purposes. The_ particular place of 
the fight was known locally as Hodge's Mills. The foot of 
Lieutenant Jarves, wounded in the fight, was subsequently 
amputated. All the old vehicles we could scare up were 
employed to carry the dead and wounded home. The surgi- 
cal staff was on hand, and Dr. Curtis, with Hospital Steward 
McGregor, were in evidence. The regimental band also 
made the trip and were under fire, doing their part in rescu- 
ing the wounded. Leader Patrick Gilmore and Cornetist 
Arbuckle, a veteran of the Crimean War, were up with the 
rest of the force. Owing to continuous rains, the return was 
more difficult than the advance. "We reached Washington 
at 8.30 p.m., tired, footsore, wet and hungry. Some said the 
distance was twenty miles, others said more. Some com- 
plained over sore and swollen shoulders, made so by heav>^ 
cartridge boxes and haversacks. We got a nip of whiskey, 
some hot coffee and hard bread, changed our clothes, and laid 
our weary bones to rest on the soft side of a hard pine 
board." Another commentator says that Washington is 
prettier than Newbern, though not so large, and that the 
building selected for a hospital is one of the finest in the 
place, the property of one Demill, who had run away and was 
the very first man in town to hang out a Secesh flag. The 
"people in the next house are Union folks and have been 
right along." 

The next day brought needed rest to weary officers and 
men, all protracting their sleep considerably beyond the reg- 

June 7. '62. Washixgtox, X. C. 125 

nlar stai'tiny hour. The Colonel found occupation in writing- 
his report, findinu' places for quarters, and in seeing the 
wounded conveyed aboard the Pawtuxet, which arrived that 
day. Also coffins were made for the dead, that their bodies 
might be taken to Xewbern for burial. On Saturday, the 
7th, Colonel Stevenson came up to visit his old friends and 
to cong-ratulate them on their recent success, also the sick 
who had been left in X'ewbern came on the same boat, the 
Pilot Boy. While a keen outlook is maintained and the 
officers make frequent excursions in the vicinity, affairs begrin 
to take on much of the former Xewbern tranquillity. June 
9th the picket takes a run up the Tar Eiver as far as Pacto- 
lus. where a landing was made, and "Yankee Hall" was 
examined, the residence of Wm. Grimes. Three shells were 
thrown in the direction of a rebel cavalry camp, said to be 

The men of the Twenty-fourth are finding Washington a 
very pretty place, and one fellow with a well-filled stomach 
thinks it not unlike Xorth Bridgewater, one of the finest vil- 
lages in Plymouth County, Mass., a decided compliment. 
The picket line is not devoid of incident, and the men have 
difficulty in obeying orders as to the passing of colored people 
who are anxious to escape from slavery and, as they can't 
help thinking; that the war is one of emancipation sooner or 
later, they have conscientious scruples about sending a 
liberty-longing African back to bondage, and it is not strange 
that infractions of orders are occasionally winked at. While 
orders were generally obeyed in word, they were sometimes 
broken in spirit. One party of twelve negroes, four of them 
children, all escaped from a Ur. Myers, wanted to come in, 
but were held off. Instructions from town did not help them 
any, but the poor people declared themselves ready to die 
rather than go back. The fine horse that one of them rode 
proved to be an open sesame, and somehow all of them did 
reach the promised land. Food of a varied character is 
found by those on picket, and the duty is sought regularly. 


This is only one report out of many: "Had stewed chicken, 
honey, lemonade, thimbleberries, milk, fried onions, cakes 
and pies." Not even the sight of distant rebels could lessen 
the enjoyment of such fare. On the 12th some rebel soldiers 
came in and gave themselves up, saying that they had been 
discharged and that the Confederates were discharging all 
men over thirty-five and under eighteen. 

(3n the 13th Colonel Stevenson wrote a letter from Xewbern 
to Lieutenant-Colonel Osborn, in which he shows that promo- 
tion has not lessened his regard for the regiment, in that he 
writes : 

I urged on Hoffman the justice of having Tranter's Creek 
on our colors. He put it before General Foster, who savs 
although it was a very gallant att'air, he does not consider 
there were enough forces engaged in the fight to authorize 
the name on the color. He therefore issued the congratula- 
tory order: I shall try General Burnside on his return. 
Every one speaks most highly of the whole fight. * * * 
We are to have a drill of the first division to-morrow morn- 
ing at six and one-half o'clock. I expect I shall be 
brilliant, as I am to sit up with Horatio [Jarves] 
to-night. The railroad bridge is completed and a 
locomotive arrived in town yesterday from Beaufort. 
* « * * j^ jg fearfully slow with the Twenty- 
fourth away. What wouldn't I give to be back with the 
regiment. Your argument that I have never been sorry for 
any promotion which I have accepted does not hold good 
hereafter. I had no idea how much I loved the officers of the 
Twenty-fourth till I was separated from them. Give my 
love to the whole crowd, and believe me. 

Sincerely your friend. 


Leaving Xewbern so hurriedly, as has been stated, there 
was no chance to take along their camping outfit, hence it 
was necessary to find c^uarters in all sorts of buildings. 
Freight and storehouses, any roomy and capacious edifice, 
were useful in entertaining the regiment. The officers, as in 
the case of the Lieutenant-Colonel, could secure lodging and 

June '62. 

Washington. X. C. 


rations easier than the enlisted men. In thns making- space 
for company qnarters one struetnre that had been devoted to 
the sale of elothing' had a notice up to the effect that "Negro 
Goods" were kept up stairs. Constructively, all the goods 
left in the store were carried aloft and placed in the attic, 
but it was more than hinted that the carriers found many 
items which they thought might conduce to their own wel- 
fare, and so certain articles fell short of the uppermost room. 
What the ])oys called "hooking" went on under the eyes of 
the agent who had the care of the building. When ready, 
the company marched in and the men said it was an elegant 
place. They lay on the counters and on the floor. There 
were ample lighting facilities, so the boys turned on a full 
head and got all the light thev needed. 

Pencil sketch by Lieut. J. M. Barnard, Co. G. 


In Washington among other quarters occupied by the sol- 
diers was the bank building, where, with other plunder, the 
boys found a lot of unsigned bank bills. The mere semblance 
of money was enough to give it interest in the eyes of the dis- 
coverers, but no real use for it was had till one day a coun- 
tryman came in with a load of melons. The boys tried to 
buy of him, proffering in payment good United States money, 
but he declined that, asking for Confederate or North Caro- 
lina bills. The bovs bethought themselves of the unsigned 

128 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

currency and, hunting the possessor up, told him to sign some 
of tliem at once. This he proceeded to do, and the first bill 
went out bearing the name of Ira Sprague as president. The 
bills were signed in short order and passed out as rapidly as 
the boys could take them. The melon merchant was soon 
bought out and he retired to the inner portions of Hyde 
County, rich in his own estimation and, as the bills never 
were heard from, it is probable they continued to circulate 
all right. After all, they w^ere as reliable as those of the Con- 
federate States of America. 

Emi)loyment is found for the superabundance of colored 
population in the city by the organization of a pioneer corps, 
and every morning a large body of negroes, under the lead of 
a fifer, march out and work, presumably on the fortifications, 
till nightfall. One of their number also carries a flag. 
Drills and parades are not neglected, and on the 12th is read 
the congratulatory order of General Foster over the success- 
ful affair at Tranter's Creek. The same evening, when the 
colored pioneers came in, they were carrying a Fillmore and 
Donelson flag, a reminder of the political campaign of 
1856, doubtless stolen from some old Whig- American farm 
house. Also Companies H and K that had been up the Tar 
on a semi-predatory trip returned, having live stock and' 
household furniture as results of their labors. When Sun- 
day, the 15th, arrived, the regiment was marched to church 
to h^ar Chaplain Mellen preach. When forming for dress- 
parade in the afternoon, the steamer Massasoit came in, and 
among her passengers was Governor Stanly, who received a 
salute by the men as he passed by. One man writes in his 
diary of the Governor: "An unusually plain man." 
Parades and all military affairs where there are music and 
uniforms, are viewed by the colored people with the utmost 
interest, and in turn the soldiers look at them with amuse- 
ment as they note the well-dressed bodies and bare feet of 
many of the Africans. 

June 17th there was a review of all the forces in the place, 

June '62. Washington. N. C. 129 

viz.. the Tweiity-fmirth ]\rassachusetts ; Company I. Third 
NeAv York Cavalry; two companies North Carolina Volun- 
teers, Avery's Battery: -^Mountain HoAvitzers and INIarines 
from the gimboat Louisiana. 

General Foster arriving- at noon also reviewed the array, 
and at 1 p.m. Governor Stanly addressed the people. Gen- 
eral Foster and Colonel Osborn rode out to look up the mat- 
ter of fortifications. To hear the words of the Governor, 
citizens of the State came a long distance in many cases, and 
some bronght with them handcuffs and chains under the 
impression that the Governor would give them permission to 
take back with them their runaway slaves. While the execu- 
tive was not as advanced as many of his listeners from the 
North could w^sh.hewas very far from satisfying the slavery 
feelings of his Southern hearers. The Pilot Boy on this day 
brought up Surgeon Green and Captain Pratt of Company C. 
Also in the afternoon the steamer Philadelpjiia came in, 
having on board Commodore S. C. Rowan, every arrival 
adding to the interest of the city. General Foster went away 
the next day on the Alice Price, but he had the pleasure of 
another parade of the regiment, and the boys were pleased at 
his laughing outright when Gilmore and his worthies struck 
up "Dixie." Before leaving he decided with Colonels Os- 
born and Potter upon sites for earthworks and blockhouses. 
Nowhere have the men themselves had so much amusement 
from the native colored folks as here, and very little unoccu- 
pied waking time is allowed to go to waste when it is possible 
to keep a fiddle going and some one, black or white, dancing. 

The 19th of June exhibited the varieties of weather for 
which the locality is famous. While the day dawned beauti- 
fully and the morning drill was as usual, that of the after- 
noon was interrupted by a freshet, yet it cleared up so that 
the dress-parade was had per programme. Colonel Osborn 
and Acting Adjutant Ordway, accompanied by a squadron 
of cavalry, crossed the river and arrested ^layor Isaiah Res- 
pess at the home of Colonel Cavrow and brought him back 

130 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

with them. Behind the mere statement there was a bit of 
diplomacy that illustrates the political situation in this part 
of the Old North State. It appears that Mr. Respess was the 
father of the Lieutenant-Colonel of the newly-formed Union 
North Carolina regiment, hence he naturally fell under the 
suspicion of the Confederate government, and by the same 
.had been arrested and carried to Richmond for trial on a 
charge of treason. Pending the trial a delegation of North 
Carolinians visited the rebel capital and demanded the liber- 
ation of the ]\Iayor. They were requested to await the issue 
of the investigation, but this they declined doing and under 
the spur of threats of his inflamed fellow statesmen, the 
Mayor was allowed to go, subject to a sort of ticket-of-leave, 
viz., that he would not visit Washington. He came as near 
as the conditions of his parole would permit, and then word 
was received by the Federal authorities in the city as to 
where he might be found. There was no difficulty in finding 
him, though there was a show of force in the going after him, 
and his return, in the midst of the cavalry, gave a coloring 
to the transaction that nominally freed him from the imputa- 
tion of breaking the terms of his release. 

While the regiment could not witness the ceremony, every 
man was interested in the presentation to General Burnside, 
on the 20th, in Newberu, of a magnificent sword by the State 
of Rhode Island. A number of the officers were present. 
All the troops in the city were paraded and the gift was for- 
mally made by Adjutant-General ]\Iauran of Rhode Island, 
who eloquently voiced the sentiments of the State for what 
its representative was doing in the way of restoring the 
Union. The reply of General Burnside was apt and forci- 
ble, expressing his appreciation of Little Rhody's recognition 
of his services, and his words were all the more touching, 
since his recent visit to the capital of the nation must 
have forewarned him of the separation that would soon come 
between himself and the soldiers who had so faithfully fol- 
lowed him through the perils of his famous expedition. 

June 24, '62. Foraging. 131 

The 21st brought back the officers who had gone 
down to the presentation, and also Colonel Stevenson, along 
with Engineer H. C. Fillebrown, who was to superintend the 
construction of the projected fortifications. Small fruits are 
abundant, and cherries, plums and all sorts of berries not only 
remind the consumers of home, but they are better health 
restorers than any potion administered by the medical staff. 
There is little more than regular drills and parades to keep 
the men active. Picket duty affords the most excitement, and 
this, generally, through the desire of escaped colored people 
to come within the Union lines, where they seem to think lies 
salvation, and somehow, in spite of rules and instructions, the 
bondsmen manage to get in. The exhibition of scarred 
backs, some of them showing the marks of recent floggings, 
draw from some observers words like these, "The marks 
about her person would disgrace any government that would 
tolerate such deeds and provoke the Almighty to anger. Her 
arms and hands Avere partially crippled by cruelty, and her 
head also bore testimony to her ill treatment." The coun- 
try about the city is pretty well scoured for forage and pro- 
visions, and one party gave considerable time to the unearth- 
ing of a safe which ^ivas said to contain a deal of gold, but on 
opening was found to hold a quantity of papers valuable 
only to the owner. A foraging party on the 24th brought 
back a large number of hogs, cattle, horses, mules, poultry, 
and a quantity of honey. Little consideration in war times 
is given to the local want occasioned by such depredations. 
This same day Capain Jocknick, who was with the regiment 
in its Tranter's Creek expedition, made a reconnoissance to 
the bridge where the fight Avas, having been told that the 
enemy was renewing his activity in that direction. While 
rebel pickets were found on posts, and it was in his power to 
send them on their last journey, he contented himself with 
observing that the event of June 5th had had a most salutary 
effect on the Confederates, and he apprehended no further 
activitv from this localitv, at least not in some time. Some 

132 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Eegiment. 

of the men who aeeompanied him fancied that the enemy had 
arranged one of the bridges across the stream as a sort of 
trap, sure to catch any unwary cavalryman who should 
undertake to cross it, having partially sawed off the sustain- 
ing timbers. 

Northern men cannot reconcile the snuff-dipping habits of 
North Carolina w^omen with their notions of feminine pro- 
priety, and no possession of estate or personal comeliness can 
compensate for the repulsiveness of a brush-ended stick pro- 
truding at an angle from an otherwise handsome mouth.- 
Then, too, the Avomen are more outspoken in their secession 
proclivities than the men ; perhaps they venture on woman 's 
well-known freedom of speech, and the city, though it has a 
well-defined Union element, is permeated with the spirit 
which drove the South into disunion. Whatever lacking in 
cordiality the white people may exhibit, there is nothing of 
the sort w4th the blacks, to whom every Yankee soldier is an 
angel of light. Occasional reminders of the Northern homes 
come to the boys in the shape of specimens of needlework, 
and in one of a pair of slippers which w^ere to rest the 
wearer's weary feet when possible, w^ere found the follow- 
ing lines : 

"Pray on the field of battle, 

God works with those who pray; 
His mighty arm can nerve you, 

And make you win the day." 

The long-discussed fortifications had their beginning 
June 25th, w^hen the engineers commenced to lay out the 
works. The negro pioneers, in their tree felling, had the 
misfortune to kill one of their number. The boxing and 
burial of his remains were hardly an interruption to their 
labors. June 28th brings orders for the regiment to return 
to Newbern, and also a battery of the Third New York Light 
Artillery. The people, those having Union sentiments, hear 
of the departure of the regiment wdth great apprehension, 
fearing that the enemy will come in upon them and wreak 

June 30. '62. Xp:wbern. 183 

vengeance on their apparent liking for Federal rule. Sun- 
day, the 29th, began early, for reveille was sounded at 
3 a.m. and breakfast call came thirty minutes later, but 
before the food could be comfortably eaten was heard the 
order to fall in. Later there were waits that would have 
sufficed for an indefinite number of breakfasts, but many of 
the men had hurriedly thrown their coffee away. Three 
companies, under Captain Hooper, boarded the Phamix, and 
the other seven were to take passage on the Curlew, but 
the latter drew so much water that fiatboats had to be used 
in reaching her. The Quartermaster's schooner, the Zepha- 
niah, was taken in tow by the Curlew, and on her. Colonel 
Osborn took passage. Barring some stops on account of 
darkness and shallow waters, the Curlew kept under way 
till her arrival on the 30th, at 1 p.m. in Xewbern. The 
Phoenix had already arrived. 


For more than a month the regiment had been away and 
the return was somewhat after the order of a home-coming. 
But it was not a return just for a rest or a picnic, for orders 
were awaiting the arrival of the Twenty-fourth to the effect 
that it was to be in readiness to move on eight hours' 
notice. Absence had not improved the condition of the 
camp, left so hurriedly in the month of May. for many of the 
tents had fallen down, their essentials had been stolen, and 
the tents of the officers were entirely wanting. As far as 
possible the fallen coverings were set up and something 
like order restored, but many of the men found the ground 
their only resort. Rumors are afloat as to the destination 
of the regiment and, in fancy, it is sent to all parts of the 
country, including a trip to Raleigh and going as reinforce- 
ments to McClellan. Colonel Osborn thinks the trip will 
be to Kinston and beyond. This first day in Xewbern is 
intensely hot. and the boys find bathing in the Neuse ex- 
tremely comfortable, and they make the most of their return 

134 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

to familiar haunts. General Burnside favors the camp with 
his presence during the afternoon, and was received with 
the utmost enthusiasm. 

The month of July was ushered in, so far as the Twenty- 
fourth was concerned, with orders to suspend all prepara- 
tions for departure and, of course, the next thing was to 
make better arrangements for remaining. Accordingly the 
tents were struck, the camp-ground swept and the tents 
were pitched again. Lieutenant Sargent, Company E, who 
had gone home on account of his wound received at New- 
bern, came back this day, and had with him a large party of 
recruits for the regiments at Newbern, including several for 
the Twenty-fourth. Late in the afternoon the regiment was 
mustered for pay. and later still the men had a spell of that 
almost universal horse-play known in those days as tossing 
"niggers" in a blanket. While it was fun for the tossers, 
and very likely did not hurt the tossed, it was for the 
latter a period of most intense fear, not to say horror. Of 
course the poor victims screamed and yelled, but the louder 
the cries, the greater the fun for the lusty fellows at the 
blanket's edge, and the higher Avent the contraband. 

Nearly every day brought an order or a countermand. 
July 2d it was understood that the regiment would return 
to "Washington, but as boats were not to be had, a wait 
was necessary. The divisions of Parke and Reno are 
ordered to the Potomac Army, thus leaving Foster's the 
only means of offense and defense in the Old North State. 
The third day of the month brings an apparently well 
founded report that Richmond had been captured. The 
men were ready for a celebration, and if high-up officers 
are deceived, there need be no wonder that the enlisted men 
should take rumors as verities and act accordingly. General 
Burnside ordered the fleet having on board the two divi- 
sions to anchor, and he himself returned to Newbern. 
Though the weather w^as worse than moist, the rank and file 
started in for a proper observance of a supposed Union 

July 4. '62. Newbern. 135 

victory. They made all the noise they could and, in the 
night, brought in a quantity of pitch, rosin and other com- 
Inistibles and lighted great bonfires, crowning all with 
hanging Jeff Davis in effigy and afterwards burning him. 
Too bad that so much enthusiasm should be wasted, for 
soon the illusion was dispelled. Burnside and his men 
resumed their northern route and the Twenty-fourth con- 
cluded that the war was not so nearly over as at first 

Then. too. the weather was of the chronic North Carolina 
kind, and as the tents were really past their days of use- 
fulness, mildewed and ragged, admitting rain like cambric, 
and owing to the expected short stay no ditches had been 
dug around the same, when the storms descended, as they 
Avere prone to do daily, the unfortunate soldiery was in a 
state of body as well as mind. Men were told to make 
themselves comfortable, if they could, anywhere, and at last 
Colonel Osborn determined, whatever the time of his regi- 
ment's tarrying in Newbern, to have the same better quar- 
tered, and on the 5th succeeded in getting the enlisted men 
in proper shape, looking out for the rank and file before at- 
tending to the officers' comfort, thus proving his fitness for 
his position, since the officer who takes little care for his men 
can expect little care or respect from them. 

The first Fourth of July for the regiment Avas not the hilarious ever seen. To begin with, rations were not 
any too numerous ; the fare for the men. as recorded, con- 
sisted principally of hardtack with boiled fresh beef, 
washed down with coffee. Of course, no one would starve 
on such supplies, but they were not calculated to waken 
any great enthusiasm. Some of the officers played baseball 
and drill was neglected. Indeed, there had been very little 
of that since the return to Newbern. very likely on account 
of the expectation of an immediate departure. The vessels 
in the river were bedecked with all their colors, and from 
forts and batteries came the accustomed salutes, so that, in 

18G Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

the way of gunpowder, the memories of the Fourth were 
kept in mind. The hells of the rebel city were compelled 
by their ringing to recall other days when they and the 
citizens were all attuned in a common strain of national 
regard. All of the First Division, except the Twenty-fourth, 
paraded. In the evening there were more bonfires, and 
some of the regiment were permitted to accept invitations 
from the Twenty-seventh ^lassachusetts and the Tenth 
Connecticut to participate in their respective celebration. 

A letter home about this time from one of the younger 
men contains an item worthy of note, in that the writer 
says to his brother, "I wish you would look through the 
box sent back by me from Washington and see if I inclosed 
a copy of Timothy Titcomb's letters. It belongs to the 
Chaplain, who loaned it to me, and I ought not to send 
it home. Please return it by mail!" What a blending of 
war and literature, and what a comment on the taste of a 
private soldier. Two young fellows were reading in their 
tent, when two colored girls strayed into the camp, and tak- 
ing seats near them asked if they had any papers or maga- 
zines they would give away. One of the boys said, "If you 
will read this verse you can have this book." "Will 
you give me the same chance?" said the other girl. 
"Of course." is the reply, when, much to the 
astonishment of the soldiers, the black girl took the book 
and read the poetry, after the style of Hiawatha, beauti- 
fully. She got the book ; but where did she learn how to 
read? It had long been a serious offense to teach the negroes 
letters. The new Sibley tents afford the soldiers a deal of 
comfort and pleasure, just a little help towards offsetting 
their disappointment over the contradiction of the Rich- 
mond-McClellan news, this day received. 

The heated season is here and not much outside work is 
done for several days ; 120 degrees in the shade is one record 
and "the sun scorches my face" is a continuation of the re- 
port. On the 7th, the new tents for the officers went up. 

July 9, '62. Xewbern. 137 

The next day at dress-parade, several officers as well as 
men were compelled to fall out of ranks on account of the 
extreme heat. This same da}^ the 8th, Companies B and 
D. under command of Captain Prince, started for Wash- 
ington, and the latter 's first letter to the Colonel tells of 
his arrival. Written on the 9th, he says that in accordance 
with Special Order Number 16, he had proceeded with his 
companies on board the steamer Eagle at Newbern, and at 
5.30 p.m. started, reaching Washington, N. C. at 12.30 p.m. 
the next day, having anchored for the night at the mouth 
of the Neuse. His men were quartered in the wooden 
building opposite the Colonel's former headciuarters which 
the Captain and brother officers are now accupying. He 
purposes, unless ordered to the contrary, to take upon him- 
self and men all of the guard and provost duty, thus allow- 
ing Colonel Potter of the First North Carolina Union Regi- 
ment to drill his men. A large Union flag is needed for 
headcpiarters ; there is no fresh beef ; two pieces of artillery 
are posted on each road and pickets are in place. 

The 9th, in the Newbern Camp, was noteworthy in that 
at dress-parade an order was read to the effect that Gene- 
ral Foster was to command during the absence of General 
Burnside, who had accompanied his divisions northward. 
For a number of subsequent days Colonel Osborn, Captain 
Richardson and several officers of other regiments sit in a 
court-martial. Contrasts are presented when we are told 
of the prostrating heat and, in the same line, of the fact 
that ice, brought all the way from Rhode Island, may be 
bought for 11/^ cents a pound. "A cool drink in a hot day 
is good." Fruit of the court-martial appears on the 11th, 
when one poor man is sentenced to two months' hard labor 
with ball and chain, in Fort Macon, and another receives a 
punishment of hard labor in camp for ten days and, at the 
same time, to wear a ten-pound ornament of ball and chain. 
Thus does the transgressor suffer. 

The 11th of July brought a brief respite from the ex- 

138 Twenty-fourth ]\Iassachusetts Regiment. 

treme heat and the men cut trees from the harclby -woods 
to stick up near the tents to ward off some of the sun's 
rays. Sunday was the 13th, and with delightfully pleasant 
weather there were inspections, reading of the Articles of 
War, and dress-parade, at which all of the men w^ere pleased 
to see their first Colonel. Thos. G. Stevenson. July 14tli 
Captain Prince reports from Washington. N. C, that, while 
nothing of importance is happening, he and his men are 
finding something to do. For instance. Lieutenants Sargent 
and Jones dug up on the grounds of Widow Blunt or 
Blount a quantity of glass and chinaware. of which his 
mess was much in need, and he supposed, since her son was 
in the rebel service, and she had given her grounds for their 
cavalry, that he might retain the same, but Colonel Potter 
had ordered the return of all of it. Four cannon had been 
sent him, but, on inspection, they were found to be spiked, 
a fact which drew a deserved laugh at the expense of Lieu- 
tenant Flagler. "The battery stationed here seems to be of 
little use and would amount to very little in case of attack. 
The Secesh inhabitants are cjuite exultant over the latest 
news from Richmond." 

The 17th of the month was not devoid of interest, for, in 
addition to the departure of Colonel Osborn for Washing- 
ton, N. C, in connection with a court-martial, there was a 
deal of excitement over the robbing of the sutler's tent. It 
appears that the sutler did not return with the regiment 
when it left Washington, but remained there in the store, 
where he was better placed than in a tent, but learning that 
pay-day was near he had put in an appearance, with all his 
belongings. During the night his quarters were broken into 
and about all he had, including the money orders that the 
men had given him on the paymaster, were taken away. The 
orders represented about $2000, a pretty considerable sum 
for even a sutler to lose. Every conceivable course was 
resorted to that he might regain some of his lost goods, but 
like the "Lost Bride of Netherbv, " no trace was found. 

July '62. Newbern. 139 

Every company had to strike tents, take up tent floors, open 
knapsacks, etc.. but all to no pnrpose. Then companies 
■were formed in line and each man was asked how much he 
owed the sutler, for. the orders being lost, there was no 
other way for that officer to find out the standing of the men 
towards him. Did all tell the truth? To this daA% there 
are those who intimate that Ananias was not without imita- 
tors on that occasion. 

At the dress-parade of that day more punishments were 
announced, and some of them will bear recording, since they 
may be novel to certain readers of this story. One victim 
was sentenced to stand upon a barrel, having on his back a 
board bearing the word. "Insubordinate;" another had the 
severer word, "Liar;" a third bore on his breast a board 
proclaiming him a "Shirk." and a placard on his back bore 
the words, "Threatening Language." while a poor little 
drummer boy was compelled to wear a wooden overcoat, 
which was a barrel with one head out entirely, and a part 
of the other removed so that it fitted down upon his shoul- 
ders, leaving his arms and hands quite useless. 

Colonel Osborn, who had been away from Newbern two 
daj's, returned on the 19th, and in a letter states that the 
wife of General Foster has arrived in the city. The next 
day came the signing of pay-rolls, and on the 21st the men 
were paid to the first of July. When the regiment came 
back from Washington, many small negroes followed, so 
many indeed that almost all of the officers and many of the 
enlisted men have servants. "Saucy, impertinent and mis- 
chievous." writes one concerning these presumptive citizens. 
A twelve-year-old black boy. seeing a young soldier at the 
pump, says: "Fill my pail, boy." The offended soldier 
shouts: "I'll break your head if you don't dry up." Thus 
early is realized the truth of the adage about setting a 
beggar ahorseback. As usual, pay-day is followed by con- 
siderable disorder and several non-commissioned officers are 
reduced to the ranks for too great indulgence in strong 

140 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

drink. The coming of ]\Irs. General Foster to Newborn is 
hailed as a great accession by the officers, to whom the face 
of a loyal Northern lady is refreshing, and they find her as 
enthusiastic and determined as her husband. 

Friday, the 25th of July, six companies each from the 
Seventeenth, Twenty-fifth and Twenty-seventh Massachusetts 
with six companies of cavalry started out on the Trent 
road with a battery of artillery, and the next morning 
Companies K and E were sent out to the picket line to take 
the places of two companies from the Twenty-fifth that had 
been withdrawn for the expedition. Owing to cases of 
firing upon Union troops from certain houses, they were 
torn down by the men of the Twenty-third Regiment. The 
section was called Muddy Lane, and three times had it 
offended. In the last instance INIichael A. Galvin of the 
Twenty-third was seriously wounded, hence the action of 
his comrades under the direction of their Colonel, who was 
Provost-marshal. The evening brought one of the heaviest 
of rains, severe even for this region of thunder and light- 
ning. Sunday, the 27th, brings a record of church attend- 
ance ; many of the men going to Catholic service, where they 
see General Foster, wife and daughter. General Stevenson 
and Colonel Osborn. The day itself was beautiful, hence 
inspections, etc. The band discoursed its finest music, and 
what could be better; officers called on General Foster and 
family, and Assistant Surgeon Curtis left Newbern this day 
to establish a hospital on Portsmouth Island. 

Wednesday, July 30th, Colonel Osborn received orders to 
have his regiment ready with three days' rations, to march 
at 4.30 a.m. Accordingly the men moved down to Foster's 
wharf at 5 a.m. of the 31st and went on board the steamer 
Union, with the Tenth Connecticut, and crossed over the 
river, where a halt was ordered till other forces could come 
up. There were, besides the men of the Twenty-fourth and 
the Tenth Connecticut, th^ Seventeenth Massachusetts, three 
companies of the Third New York Cavalry, one piece from 

Aug. 1, '62. Raixy Expedition. 141 

Rodgers' Battery and Morrison's Battery. The men are en- 
cumbered Avith three days' rations and rubber blankets. 
While Avaiting through the long wet day, huts are made 
from rails and ponchos, affording some relief from the down- 
pour. General Stevenson, in command, comes up towards 
night and commends the efforts of the soldiers to make them- 
selves comfortable. A rainy night is always more uncom- 
fortable than a rainy day, so the men raid the barn of an 
adjacent estate, which had been left by its rebel OAvner in 
care of his overseer, and soon take all the hay it contains 
for their own use. Standing corn disappears for Union 
horses' fodder, and whatever there is edible in the vicinity 
for horse or man is quickly appropriated. A large fire near 
the house marks the officers' bivouac. At the best, hoAvever, 
it is not a comfortable night. 

It was in this plight that August found the TAventy-fourth 
and other organizations. During the night, company cooks 
Avere trying to boil some beef for the men, and to have coffee 
ready against the ordered early start. All this they did so 
far as the rain Avould permit. Of this trip, Colonel Osborn 
writes: "At tAvo o'clock Ave breakfasted and intended to 
march immediately, but it came on to rain so hard that it 
made it darker than I ever saAv it before, so Ave Avere obliged, 
perforce, to suspend our arrangements. We got off, hoAVCA^er, 
at four. The streams had become swollen by the rain and 
overfloAved the road, so that the Avater in some places Avas 
nearly up to the men's middle. Having gone about five 
miles, Ave learned that a bridge had been destroj^ed, Avhich 
Avoiild oblige us to make a long detour, and thus defeated 
the object of the expedition. Under his instructions. Colonel 
Stevenson could do nothing but turn back, Avhich he did, 
and Ave returned to camp. In the midst of all the discom- 
forts, the men Avere in the best of spirits, laughing and 
joking all the Avay." Some of the rank and file Avere also 
taking notes, and says one of them: "It Avas the Avettest and 
the easiest march Ave have had. When Ave got back to our 

142 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

starting point, we, had to halt to arrange for recrossing the 
Neuse. The old Wheelbarrow, not the original, but the 
Secesher, came over first in response to our signals. She took 
on three companies, and then other boats came, so that we 
all got over after a while. Colonel Osborn was with the first 
Wheelbarrow load. When the men were all in camp, about 
midnight, we were formed in a hollow square and the 
Colonel said: 'My men, you have done nobly under most 
adverse circumstances. You behave yourselves well when 
you have plenty of work, and when you have not, you are 
likely to get a little unruly.' We got a ration of whiskey 
as a result." 

Though Saturday was largely a needed day of recupera- 
tion on account of the exactions of Friday, and guns had to 
be brightened up and clothes freed from mud, yet there 
was a dress-parade, and more punishments for recusant 
men of the regiment were announced, the same being neces- 
sary to maintain the discipline in the diverse elements that 
made up the organization. Monday, the 4th of August, 
twenty-four recruits arrived on the steamer Albany, to re- 
plenish the reduced ranks, some of them relatives of men 
already serving. Also Leader Gilmore of the band came 
back, and it is heard that regimental bands are to be abol- 
ished. The weather again warms up, and on the 6th a sen- 
tinel falls at his post, overcome by the heat, and at a dress- 
parade a man falls in the ranks. Sunday, the 10th, not- 
withstanding the excessive heat, men went to church, those 
who were so inclined to the Catholic, others to hear their 
own Chaplain Mellen. For two or three days preparations 
had been making, such as the coaling and otherwise loading 
of steamers, so that it was evident to men with eyes that 
some move was in contemplation. 

Wednesday, the 13th, Companies E, F, G and I went on 
board the steamer Union, bound for Beaufort, N. C, Cap- 
tain Hooper in command. Reveille had been sounded at 
3.30 a.m. and having had breakfast and with one day's ra- 

Aug. 13, '62. 

SwANSBORO Expedition. 


tions in their haversacks, in light marching order, the men 
went down to the wharf escorted by the band. There were 
also with the Union, the ^Massasoit, Pilot Boy, M. S. Allison 
and the Ocean Wave. Steaming down the river, across Pam- 
lico and into Core Sound, the Union anchored because the 
Pilot Boy had grounded. After a wait of two hours, the 
boat was pulled off and the fleet proceeded again, anchoring 
finally at nightfall in the Sound. INfeanwhile, Colonel 


Osborn with Companies C, H and K, along with General 
Stevenson and staff, having left Newbern in the afternoon, 
was riding to Morehead City by rail. On arrival, the part}^ 
took up quarters on the Guide, an old acquaintance of the 
regiment. Beaufort and IMorehead City are located at the 
mouth of the Newport River and on opposite shores. The lat- 
ter place is the terminus of the railroad from Newbern, and 
was occupied by Parke's Division of Burnside's Expedition 
in March, just after the capture of Newbern. 

The purpose and incidents of the expedition are thus 
summarized bv Colonel Osborn : — 

144 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

We remained at Beaufort, or rather Morehead City, all 
day Thursday, taking in coal and water. On Friday morn- 
ing, the 15th, Ave started early, a gunboat and fonr large 
steamers going down Bogue Sound. The water was very 
low and Ave frequently got aground, once or tA\'ice lying an 
hour or so before getting off. General Stevenson Avent doAvn 
the Sound in one boat, and I in the other. At one place 
where we Avere grounded, I saAv on the shore some beef- 
cattle and sheep, and sent a party on shore to kill a lot, and 
thus got a plenty of fresh proAnsions. At another place we 
lay a long time and seemed unable to get off. At last I 
ordered the men to strip off their clothes and jump OA^er- 
board to lighten the boat. As it Avas only four feet deep, 
and they had been sAvimming and Avading all day, they were 
delighted to do it. and soon the Avater Avas full of them. A 
rope Avas fastened to the boat and the end given to them, 
and shouting, laughing and splashing, they pulled Avith a 
will. In a A'ery short time the boat began to move and ran 
into deeper Avater. It Avas a very amusing sight, and was 
just what our men like. At night we ran aground again 
and lay until next morning, AA^hen Ave got off and arrived 
safely at Swansboro. The gunboat Avas already there, and 
a Avhite flag flying from the highest building shoAved us 
that there Avas no enemy in the toAvn. On going ashore, we 
learned that some caA^alry had been there, but had left on 
seeing our boats. We searched the toAA^n and took aAvay all 
the arms Ave could find, also appropriated Avhat chickens, 
pigs and fruit Ave needed — in short we made ourselves gene- 
rally disagreeable to the inhabitants, who Avith a remarkable 
unanimity, "had ahvays been Union men, but had never 
dared speak of it." 

In the course of the day, the other boats came up. A 
young rebel Avas taken prisoner by some men who were out 
scouting and brought doAvn to the boats. He had the stupid 
look so characteristic of the Secesh, and was dressed in gray 
homespun. As the object of our expedition Avas to destroy 
some saltAvorks, we Avent on shore the next day, Sunday, 
the 17th. AA'ith about 350 men and one piece of artillery, and 
marched about three miles doAvn the coast. There Ave came 
to an extensive saltAvork and proceeded at once to burn it, 
much to the disgust of the proprietor, Avho looked on under 
the charge of a guard with impotent rage. We laid him 
under contribution for more chickens and eggs, and, bor- 

Aug. 20, '62. Swansboro Expedition. 145 

rowing his horses to draw our cannon, went on our way re- 
joicing. About a mile and a half further on, we came to 
another work, which we also destroyed. As the owner 
did not live near it, his feelings and his fowl were 
spared. We then returned to the boats without having 
seen any of the enemy, but having, nevertheless, achieved 
a very important work. Salt is a very necessary article, 
especially to a people whose principal article of food is 
pork, which they cure for winter's use. Salt is now very 
scarce and is worth from seven to eight dollars a bushel, 
so the destruction of a manufactory strikes a very heavy 
blow at them. "We lay at Swansboro all day Monday. One 
of our men, without his arms, wandering too far out of the 
town and alone, met two or three rebel horsemen who fired 
at him and ran. A buckshot hit him in the cheek, but did 
not inflict a serious wound. Tuesday morning w'e started 
for home and reached camp without accident, Wednesday, 
the 20th. 

The trip itself w^as a cheerful episode in the regimental 
life, and all men came back the better for it. They had seen 
Beaufort, Morehead City, and Fort Macon, which lies on a 
tongue of sand between the ocean and the inner waters of 
the Sound and really commands the entrance to the same. 
They had experienced a change of diet and in the extra 
briny waters of the Sound had realized some of the luxu- 
ries of bathing, though some of the youths complained at 
the prevalence of crabs, which did not hesitate to grab any 
tangible part of Yankee swimmers. They had foraged on 
the enemy, securing great quantities of vegetable and 
animal food, finding the green corn succulent and the 
watermelons superb, and though there was some rain and 
they did have to help extricate the steamers when aground, 
and occasionally w^ait for a high tide, there was not a man 
in the seven companies who did not vote the expedition a 
first-class picnic. From Morehead City, the way back to New^- 
bern was by rail, thus passing within sight of and right 
through the rebel fortifications which they had assailed in 
the month of March. 

146 Twenty-fourth ^Iassachusetts Eegiment. 

During the absence of the regiment, fortj'-nine recruits 
had come down from the North and were waiting an 
opportunity to be added to the aggregate of the TAventy- 
fonrth. The weather continues warm and the period of 
inactivity is varied only by drill, parades, inspections and 
the regular round of camp life. At dress-parade, on the 
27th, the honorable discharge of Captain Austin of B Com- 
pany was announced. General Foster and daughter being 
among the spectators. August 30th was noteworthy in 
that at 2 o'clock p.m. Gilmore's Band, the pride and pet 
of the regiment, was mustered out of the United States 
service. After dress-parade the band marched through 
every company street, also to the guard-house, playing 
some very lively tunes. The several companies gathered in 
their respective streets as the musicians passed through, and 
loudly cheered them. Sunday, the last day of the month, 
was delightful in the matter of weather. There were 
review and inspection under the eye of General Stevenson 
and staff, and a muster for pay. At the regular dress- 
parade the band played for the last time, the soldiers giving 
their old friends the heartiest of cheers. Of the discharge of 
the band, the Colonel writes: "I think it a great mistake 
and that the service will lose more than the treasury will 

September the 1st saw the departure of the band, and 
North Carolina shores no longer would echo the exquisite 
strains that for many months had gladdened the ears of all 
true music lovers. Union or Confederate. Tuesday, the 
second day of the month, is the anniversary of the appoint- 
ment of the line officers in far-away Boston, and in honor 
of the event, Colonel Osborn gives a reception in the mess- 
tent. General Stevenson called in the forenoon, as Avas 
his custom, and the dropping in of the other officers, whb 
were not forgetful of the day and its significance, made the 
hours fly all too swiftly. It seems almost impossible that an 
entire year separates them from the infant camp at Read- 

Sept. 3, '62. Washington, N. C. ' 147 

ville. Having become pretty well acclimated, the regiment 
is enjoj'ing Newbern, though flies by day and mosquitoes 
by night necessitate constant vigilance on the part of man- 
kind. JNIassachusetts men also find the everlasting flatness 
of the country exceedingly irksome. Says one commenta- 
tor, "Everything is upon a dead level, and in riding along 
the roads, nowhere do you get a sight of anything more 
than the trees on each side except where a field has been 
cleared for corn, or at the houses, which are thinly scattered 
along. * * I long to see a hill, and think with regret of 
the glorious old Blue Hills of Milton, with the thousand 
shades of color and soft tints which gave me so much 
pleasure when at Readville. " 

During all these days, the two companies in "Washing- 
ton, X. C, have been doing their best to perform their 
respective duties, and the reports from Captain Prince relate 
the principal happenings there. Writing September 3d, the 
Captain chronicles the arrival, the day before, of Colonel 
S. H. Mix of the Third X. Y. Cavalry and of his assuming 
command. Having with him several companies of his 
regiment, his presence imparts considerable encouragement to 
all Union people, for seemingly there is trouble brewing from 
rebel sources. Indeed there were apprehensions of an attack 
the night before Captain Prince's letter, but the active Xew 
York Colonel took the utmost precautions to prevent any 
surprise. Pickets were doubled and strong patrols of cav- 
alry were out on the different roads as well as on the 
principal streets of the town. However, the night passed 
without molestation. Colonel Mix has ordered all passes 
stopped and no one leaves the place. He proclaims himself 
responsible for the place and says he will not take orders 
from Governor Stanly which allow known Secesh to come 
and go inside and outside of our lines. 

On the same date, viz., the 3d, Captain Prince writes again 
to the elfect that through ]\Iayor Respess and Colonel Car- 
roll, he learns tliat the enemy is certainly preparing for an 

148 Twenty-fourth IMassachusetts Regiment. 

attack. "Colonel" Carroll, who is a strong Union man and 
a former militia officer, whence his title, has seen an order 
written by Governor Clark to take Washington at all 
hazards. "It was first sent to Captain or Colonel Rodman, 
owner of the plantation across the river, who, not liking the 
job, had disappeared and had not been seen since. It was 
then given to the officer who commands the forces around 
US. * * As Governor Clark goes out in about ten days, 
I suppose he wants to signalize his exit by the capture of 
this place." That Captain Prince's apprehensions were not 
nnfonnded was evident on the morning of the 6th, when at 
5 o'clock the enemy dashed into the town and carried con- 
sternation with him. Taking advantage of the dense fog, 
the cavalry captured the Union pickets and galloped into 
the place. Hearing the firing, the officers rushed over to 
the quarters of the men and organized them for defense. 

The enemy galloped down ]\Iain Street in which the bar- 
racks are located, and a body of infantry which followed 
surrounded the officers' quarters, then vacant, and the bar- 
racks of the men to prevent their egress, and take them 
prisoners. Fortunately four companies of our cavalry, hav- 
ing two pieces of artillery, who had been ordered to go on 
an expedition at daylight, and who were under anns, met 
the force of cavalry and drove them out of Main Street, 
upon which the infantry withdrew without attacking the bar- 
racks. Our men then formed, and in turn attacked the 
rebels, who made a stand toward the rear of the town. The 
gunboat Louisiana then opened and smashed up the houses 
pretty well, even if she did not kill anybody. The little 
gunboat Picket also fired one shot, but from some un- 
explainable cause, her magazine then exploded, killing 
the captain and eighteen men. The fight continued in the 
streets till eight o'clock, when the enemy retired, leavine 
their dead, but carrying off four pieces of artillery, which 
unaccountably had been left without a guard. Some of our 
cavalry pursued them nine miles, but did not come up with 
them. They found, however, two ambulances of wounded 
wdiich they had left in the road. The loss of the Con- 
federates appears to be quite heavy, including a number of 

Sept. '62. Newbern. 149 

men, made prisoners. When the rebels came to the Union hos- 
pital they were told what it was, and they replied that they 
would respect it, but should take the occupants prisoners, and 
placed a guard over them. After the tide turned in the 
Union favor, the nurses retorted upon the guards, told 
them that they were prisoners, and brought them in. Our 
men fought very well, including the loyal North Carolina 
Regiment, of which much had not been expected. 

General Foster soon appeared on the ground and on search- 
ing certain houses arms were found, and the holders in all 
cases arrested. Captain Prince in reporting the affair asks 
if the entire regiment is not coming to the help of the place, 
since the enemy will surely try it again. He names the 
fatally wounded as Corporal Sylvester Clark of D, Franklin 
Oldson and Edwin D. Sprague, both of B, also Edward Car- 
thy and James C. Littlefield, each one of the latter company. 
On the 9th. orders were received to relieve Companies B and 
D, at Washington, and on the 4th they returned and the 
Twenty-fourth was once more united, though owing to the 
condition of their natural camping place they had to wait till 
the 13th before putting their tents along with their fellows. 

September, '62, in the annals of the Twenty-fourth is not 
especially eventful. The affair in Washington represents all 
the fighting that any part of the regiment had. There were 
drills, etc., in the regular rounds and, doubtless, each day 
was adding to the efficiency of the men, but there was time 
for letter writing, and one officer remarks that the men keep 
up a tremendous correspondence, so great that if other 
organizations do likewise, the Post Office Department ought 
to become self-supporting. The 11th brought back to the 
regiment ]\Iajor Stevenson, who had been away ever since 
receiving his wound at the capture of Newbern. He was most 
heartily welcomed back by the men. The same day brought 
down from the North Lieut.-colonel John Quincy Adams, of 
Governor Andrew's staff', and he comes to inspect Massachu- 
setts troops, and so to carry back to the Bay State a true 
statement as to the condition of her soldiers in the field. 


Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Eegiment. 

- pli VI 





















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I— I 





































Oct. '62. Newbern. 151 

former leader. Still there was a drop of bitter in all these 
sweets of victory, for General Jesse L. Reno, the grand 
division leader of the Burnside Expedition, is reported killed 
at South ^Mountain, and how much these men loved him is 
evident in the tolling of bells, the reading of orders and the 
wide bands of crape which the officers wear. 

The call for additional troops in the North is giving well- 
drilled non-commissioned officers of the Twenty-fourth an 
opportunity to take commissions in the newly formed regi- 
ments, and very many are discharged from the Twenty- 
fourth for this purpose. The men who remain are sorry to 
see the steady, reliable comrades of the campaign go away, 
but they are glad that the drill and work hitherto done have 
fitted them for these steps upward. 

If all regimental stories were simply annals of garrison 
life, it is doubtful if very many of them would be printed, 
so little difference is there in successive days. This North 
Carolina experience was not what the men had in mind when 
they enlisted, and when they heard of the more active war 
of their brothers in Virginia and the AVest, they became 
somewhat restive, particularly when regular rations of quinine 
and whiskey became necessary as a specific for attacks of the 
chills, from which no one was exempt, and notwitlistanding 
all precautions, these soldiers were having planted in their 
systems seeds of malaria, which all the years of their subse- 
quent living will not eradicate. As they regarded the low 
lying regions, some of them tried to imagine the feelings of 
the early Swiss settlers as they, too, were trying to become 
acclimated, and not a few wondered how they ever came to 
name their settlement after the capital of Switzerland unless 
it was by the rule of contraries, for surely no two localities 
could be more dissimilar than mountain-girt Helvetian Berne 
and this fever-stricken namesake, amidst the marshes and 
morasses of the Neuse and Trent Peninsula. 

October presented a wide divergence of weather ; there were 
days delightful to remember, but they were usually sand- 

152 Twt:nty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

Aviched between long" periods of rain, cold, and even flurries 
of snow. But cold or warm, rain or shine, there were the ever 
recurring I'ounds of guard, police and picket duty. Weather 
somewhat interfered Avith drills and parades, still no one was 
allowed to forget that drill and discipline are really the 
chief end of a soldier's life. Also the work of fortifying Xew- 
bern Avas progressing, regular details being made for this 
purpose. On the 6th, the paymaster remembered the 
regiment, and there Avas an evening up of clothing 
accounts. Avherein some impro\4dent felloAvs found them- 
selves minus in the matter of cash, they having drawn and 
Avorn out their entire stipend -. others more frugal and careful 
had their difference given them in good currency, Avhich they 
were at liberty to send home to their families. The picket 
line is so far aAvay that it is reached, some parts of it, by 
rail, thus relieving the men from many mud marches. On 
the 8th, Lieutenant OrdAvay Avent to Raleigh under a flag of 
truce. The next day Company CI Avent off in light marching 
order on the Old AVheelbarroAV, tAvelve or fifteen miles up the 
Neuse, to secure a raft, succeeding in part. Colonel Osborn 
has been for several days too ill to attend to his regular 
duties, having succumbed at last to the prevailing sickness 
of the region, and, to croAvn his misfortunes, his eyes are 
troubling him. On the 16th and 17th there are Brigade drills 
under the direction of General Stevenson, the Brigade in- 
cluding the TAventy-Fourth, Tenth Connecticut and the 
Fifth Rhode Island. The 18th marks the illness of 
Major Stevenson, thus leaving the regiment Avithout a field 
officer fit for duty. During the month, measures Avere taken 
for the erecting of barracks, that the men might be better 
housed, and under the impression that they Avould remain 
in NeAvbern the entire Avinter. 

Up to the 26th no event of the month gave the regiment so 
much pleasure as the arrival of the Forty-fourth Massachu- 
setts, one of the nine months' regiments raised under the last 
call of the President. The men reached the citv bA' rail, 

Oct. 80, '62. Tarbor(3 ^NEarch. 153 

having landed at ^Nlorehead City, and, as the regiment also 
had NeAv England Gnards affiliations, its coming was most 
happily greeted by the boys, so well versed in the lay of the 
land. Their first ride in North Carolina, however, was not 
altogether inspiriting, since the cars were open and the rain 
fell copiously, hence they were well wet down to begin with. 
]Many of the officers were entertained by General Stevenson 
and the remainder were cai*ed for in the camp. Colonel 
Henry Lee of Governor Andrew's staff, a brother of 
the Colonel of the Forty-fourth, came down with the 
regiment and received a most cordial greeting from his many 
friends in the Twenty-fourth. About this time, a relief from 
the monotony of camp life was projected by the authorities 
and the Tarboro expedition was begTin. In his subsequent 
report, General Foster states that his object was the capture 
of three Confederate regiments that had been making them- 
selves obnoxious in the eastern counties. 


Concerning the trip Colonel Osborn thus writes, November 
1st: "On Thursday morning (October 30), a large expedi- 
tion, including the majority of the troops in the department, 
started from here to be gone a week or ten days. I was not 
strong enough to bear the fatigue and exposure of going 
M'ith against my will, I was left behind 
in command of the infantry under Colonel Kurtz (Twenty- 
third ^lassachusetts), who commands the post. This is a 
severe blow to me, for the regiment has never before gone 
anywhere without me. ^ly earnest wish is that they may not 
have a fight. ' ' For such an. apparently unsoldierly wish, no 
doubt every man in the regiment forgave the Colonel, for 
they, too, wished to have their leader along when there was 
trouble brewing. However, not all of the companies went; 
since C and H remained on duty, the other eight going under 
command of Captain Hooper, since ]\Iajor Stevenson was also 
too ill for dutv. 

154 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

The First Brigade, under Colonel T. J. C. Amory (Seven- 
teenth ^Massachusetts), having in charge the baggage train, 
marched overland, while the Second under Colonel Stevenson 
and the Third under Colonel Lee of the Twenty-seventh 
Massachusetts, went by transport over the route, by this time 
quite familiar to many of the campaigners. The newly 
arriA^ed Forty-fourth, the Tenth Connecticut and the Fifth 
Rhode Island were also along with Belger's Battery of six 
guns. Leaving Newbern on the 30th. the boats reached Wash- 
ington, N. C, the next or Friday forenoon. The encampment 
was just outside of the city. The night of the 31st was very 
pleasant though cool, the moon shining, and fires were burn- 
ing all over the field. It was a beautiful sight. The First 
Brigade coming overland was expected that night, but did 
not arrive till Saturday, the bridge over Swift Creek having 
been burned, thus occasioning a long delay for repairs, but 
the extra night in camp was not irksome. It was during the 
wait of Saturday, November 1st, that Lieutenent Jas. M. 
Pendleton, a volunteer aid on General Foster's staff, was 
thrown from his horse and fatally injured. The expedition 
started away from Washington at about 8 a.m. Sun- 
day, the Third Brigade in the lead with only some 
cavalry and Marine Artillery ahead of it. Only those 
leading could tell what the main object of the trip 
Avas, but the enemy was met and driven back into 

General Foster did not approve the burning of houses, and 
for that matter, that was done by the ^Marines, and it is 
claimed that they did it in retaliation for the firing upon 
them by the citizens a while ago when they were going up 
under a flag of truce. About four miles out, the cavalry 
captured several rebel cavalry pickets. When fifteen miles 
away, we halted for rest and caution, having heard that the 
enemy had thrown up breastworks near. The marching was 
excellent, the roads being in good condition. After a half- 
hour halt, we advanced till near 5 p.m., when our skirmishers 

Nov. 2, '62. Tarboro ]March. 155 

came up with the Confederate pickets aud drove them in, 
which began the fight. The Marine Artillery led off with a 
few rounds of shell and canister. Belger's Battery went into 
position quickly and shelled the woods thoroughly. The 
Tenth Connecticut and two companies of the Forty-fourth 
advanced and drove the enemy across Little Creek, following 
them through the water above their knees. The Twenty- 
fourth was in reserve. The rebels fled from their defenses 
and went across a bridge at Rawle's ]\Iill and set the bridge 
on fire. It grew dark so fast, we couldn't tell where the 
enemy was. After about an hour's firing the battery ceased, 
when our regiment was ordered forward. We halted at the 
first creek for the Batterj- to come up and go forward with 
us. "While waiting, the enemy complimented us with several 
artillery attentions, but his aim was a little too high, though 
the hits were heard among the trees. 

After a while, we went over or through the creek, some on 
logs, all anxious not to get wet. On our way we went through 
the ranks of our Connecticut and ^Massachusetts friends, who 
had started first. The rebs had cut down trees to obstruct 
our advance, but these were speedily got out of the way by 
the pioneers. We encountered several wounded Confederates 
and three dead. The Forty-fourth lost two killed and four 
wounded. The Tenth Connecticut had one killed, as did the 
Marines. Owing to the darkness, our advance was very slow. 
Working our way along with many cautious halts, we finally 
reached an open field on one side of the road, and the breast- 
work which they had just deserted. Down in the woods could 
be seen a fire, which turned out to be the burning bridge. 
Company F was sent down to find out the situation. The 
enemy was waiting for us on the other side of the bridge, and 
had some artillery with him. The F boys were just going for 
water to put out the fire when the rebels attacked with 
musketry and artillery, but luckily, as before, at too ^reat an 
elevation. Our reply was of such a character as to make the 
graycoats take to their heels. While we were lying in the 

156 Twenty-fourth jMassachusetts Regiment. 

road, Belger's guns began firing over us at a great rate. It 
was music for the ears and gladness to the eyes, for those 
shells looked like great balls of fire. The work seemed to be 
effectual, for we heard no more of the rebels during the night. 
Company E lost one man (H. T. Petereon) killed, and A, one 

The Ninth New Jersey of the Third Brigade next took the 
advance, crossed the bridge, and halted for the night. We 
turned into the field here, where the breastworks were, and 
wrapping ourselves in our rubber blankets lay down for the 
remainder of the night, it now being past midnight. We 
were tired enough to sleep soundly till daylight, in spite of 
the cold and dew. Turning out at 5 o'clock, Monday morn- 
ing, the 3d, we had coffee and resumed the march, the First 
Brigade in the lead. Reaching AA^illiamston at noon, it was 
found deserted. However, we halted there about three hours. 
Certain companies marched right through a nice house and 
stacked arms in the back door yard. 

At 4 p.m. the march was resumed, and continued till nine 
o'clock, when we camped in a large corn-field, getting mate- 
rial for a fire from a rail-fence which surrounded the field. 
Then came coft'ee and a sleep made sound by the fatigue of 
the day. Tuesday's start, also, was early, for we were off 
soon after 5 o'clock, marching towards Hamilton. A big 
fight was expected at Rainbow Banks, three miles this 
side of Hamilton, where there was a strong fortification about 
75 feet above the waters of the Roanoke River. The bluff is 
almost perpendicul'ar, the river deep and narrow. The fort 
could be taken easily from the land, as it was not intended 
for defense in that direction. Attached to it was a breast- 
work about two miles in length. Our forces were divided 
into two parties, one to take another road and so cut off the 
retreat of the enemy in case we should drive him, but as 
usual Ij^e had run oft', destroying a bridge on his way, in 
repairing which we lost two hours. Reaching Hamilton at 
3 p.m. we halted outside the town and employed our two 

Nov. 5, '62. Tarboro ^Iarch. 157 

hours' wait in digg'ing and roasting sweet potatoes. All of 
the troops were not permitted to enter the town, but those 
that did plundered and burned some of the best houses. It 
seemed too bad, but such is war. Again we started and con- 
tinued marching till about 9 o'clock at night, when we 
camped as before. 

Wednesday, the 5th, was pleasant, but it clouded over dur- 
ing the da}', and in the following night rain fell. Starting at 
7 a.m., we took the road towards Tarboro. At 1 o'clock in 
the afternoon we halted, had a luncheon, and rested for two 
hours, and then for reasons unknown to the men the march 
was diverted to another road and continued till 11 at night, 
passing thus through a strip of woods fully five miles in 
length, with hardly an opening. The soldiers were very 
tired, and when they s^topped did not wait for any fires, 
but just wrapped their blankets around them and lay down, 
sleeping soundly in spite of the rain. In the morning it was 
found that we were about twelve miles from Tarboro. 

At six o'clock on Thursday morning we had turned about 
and were on the homeward way; the rain was falling hard, 
making it very bad for the baggage and artillery, and not 
improving the walking. Some thought that the trains heard 
during the night were the taking into Tarboro of large num- 
bers of reinforcements from Richmond. The going became 
so bad that barrels of salt beef had to be thrown off the 
wagons. We got back to Hamilton at 6 p.m., and very good 
quarters were found for the night. Some of the companies 
occupied large buildings that the rebels had used as 
barracks, and the stoves were in them just as they 
had been left. Starting good fires therein the men 
dried out wet garments, and finding a lot of sweet 
potatoes they refreshed the inner man also. Eain fell 
and the wind blew during the night, and in the morning 
the ground was covered with snow, and it kept on snowing 
almost all day Friday, the 7th, but a start was made just the 
same at 9 o'clock. It was terriblv bad marching; there was 

158 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Eegiment. 

no picking one's way, having to go right through mud and 
water, reaching "Williamston at 5 p.m., the regiments being 
quartered in the houses and public buildings. Some found 
themselves in rooms where there were large fire-places in 
which fires were built, and they warmed as well as dried their 
wearied bodies and clothes. In spite of the situation certain 
soldiers were not too tired for foraging, and so went out and 
secured a few of the noteworthy swine of the country, and 
these helped out considerably, since the men had started off in 
the morning Avith only three hard tacks apiece, rations having 
run low. The chance to fry fresh pork over the coals was 
good and it was improved. 

Saturday, the 8th, Avas spent in Williamston, and during 
the day the jail Avas burned, much to the delight of the col- 
ored people, Avho declared it had been a source of great suffer- 
ing to them, and they shouted Avith joy as they saw it go up 
in smoke. More foraging followed during the day, and there 
was a dress-parade at night, another delight to the novelty- 
loving African. Sunday, the 9th of November, saw the 
march resumed, starting away at 7 o'clock in the morning, 
reaching Jamesville at noon and halting for the night about 
2^ miles from Plymouth. The night was cold and frosty, 
and long lines of rail-fence Avere used in trying to keep off the 
chills. Monday the regiment started out at 8 a.m. for Ply- 
mouth to go on board the transports for Newbern, but the 
boat was not ready, so arms Avere stacked just outside of the 
town and all Avaited till 2 p.m. Being of an industrious 
nature, men dug sweet potatoes and cooked and ate till they 
Avere filled, and they even made provision for the future by 
putting some of them in their haversacks. It Avas four in the 
afternoon Avhen the TAventy-fourth boarded the Ocean Wave 
and sailed out into a beautiful night, reaching Newbern at 
noon Tuesday, the 11th, tired and very glad to get back. 

The report of Col. Thomas G. Stevenson, commanding the 
Second Brigade, is as folloAvs : 

Nov. '62. Col. Stevenson's Report. 159 

I have the honor to report the following as the result of the 
skirmishes in which my brigade Avas engaged on Sunday 
night, Nov. 2, 1862. 

At about dusk, as the advance guard, composed of 
the Marine Artillery, a company of the Tenth Con- 
necticut, and a portion of cavalry, were crossing 
Little Creek, on the road from Washington to "Wil- 
liamston, they were suddenly fired upon by the enemy from 
the opposite side of the creek, concealed in the w'oods on the 
right of the road. The cavalry and infantry retired, the 
Marine Artillery opening fire. Two companies of the 
Forty-fourth were then ordered to deploy on the other side 
of the creek. In crossing the enemy opened a brisk fire on 
them, which was immediately returned with good effect, but 
their ammunition getting wet they were ordered to retire, 
which was done in good order, with a loss of one killed and 
six wounded. In the meantime, Captain Belger's battery 
had taken position in a corn-field on the left of the road and 
opened fire, the enemy returning with musketry and artillery, 
which the well-directed fire of Captain Belger's battery soon 
silenced. Two companies of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts 
were then ordered to the front, but the enemy again opened 
fire, killing one and wounding one. I then ordered them to 
fall back. Captain Belger opened fire once more on the 
enemy, and in a short time caused them to retreat. 

The column then moved forward slowly, the road being 
blocked up by trees cut by the retreating enemy to retard our 
advance, which for two hours was very slow. A breastwork 
was found on our left which had the appearance of having 
been hastily deserted. The advance, composed of the Twenty- 
fourth Massachusetts, soon came upon a bridge burning over 
the creek by Rawle's Mill. The Twenty-fourth, whilst ex- 
tinguishing the flames, were fired upon by the enemy with 
both musketry and artillery, in position on the opposite side 
of the creek parallel with the main road, the Twenty-fourth 
losing one killed and two wounded. Captain Belger soon got 
his battery in position, when he opened fire and quickly 
routed the enemy. 

Too much praise cannot be awarded Captain Belger and 
his command for the masterly manner in which his guns were 
manoeuvred, and for the coolness and discipline displayed by 
all— R. R., Vol. 18, p. 22. 

160 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

In addition to the foregoing-, General Foster states in his 
report that the original plan to capture three regiments, for- 
aging in that section, was frustrated by the condition of the 
roads, yet the effect of the expedition must be salutary to the 
department; that the first encounter with the enemy was at 
Little Creek; the second, where the Company E man was 
killed, was Eawle's IMill. Rainbow Banks is three miles 
below Hamilton. At the latter place he had expected to find 
some iron-clads in process of construction, but was disap- 
pointed. The limit of the expedition was within ten miles of 
Tarboro, but the wearied condition of the men, coupled with 
the lack of provisions and the evident reinforcing of Tarboro, 
determined him to countermarch. The total loss was six 
killed and eight wounded. The expedition was instrumental 
in saving the town of Plymouth from capture, since the 
enemy had been laying plans for a surprise. He mentions 
particularly the bravery of Colonel Stevenson, commanding 
the Second Brigade, and closes his report with the following 
words : 

"I recommend that Colonel Stevenson, for his efficient ser- 
vices on the march and in the affairs of Little Creek and 
Rawle's iMill, as well as previous services at the battles of 
Roanoke and Newbern, be promoted to the rank of Brigadier 
General, to date from Nov. 3, 1862." 


Just as the Union forces return to Newbern the enemy gets 
active, apparently mistaking the time of the Federal's stay. 
Had the rebels been a little more ardent in their movements, 
they might have made the Union people a deal of trouble. 
As it was, they kept things lively along the picket line. On 
the afternoon of the 11th, Colonel Kurtz, hearing that the 
rebels were attacking, ordered the infantry under arms. At 
nightfall Col. T. J. C. Amory returned, resumed command, 
and made all necessary arrangements to meet any force the 
enemy might present. During the night on the Neuse road 

Nov. '62. Newbern. 161 

the Confederates, appearing, were fired upon by the Monitor. 
In camp the long roll was beaten and the regiment marched 
lip to Fort Rowan and remained in line for some time, but 
finding nothing particular doing, the men marched back 
again, and were ordered to lie on their arms, ready to march 
at a moment's warning. Thus the morning of the 12th found 
them. Extra vigilance was displayed in all directions. Gen- 
eral Stevenson returned from the Tarboro trip so indisposed 
that he was obliged to go to bed. His brother, the Major, 
also continued ill, and Colonel Osborn had not recovered to 
the extent of resuming his duties. 

On the 14th, Lieut. J. B. Nichols of Company H reports 
from the picket-line that he is still kept on the qui vive by the 
foe, who, though not particularly numerous, is exceedingly 
lively. He suggests that unless the enemy is driven off the 
Trent road, the post should be abandoned or strongly rein- 
forced. He learns that the attacking party of the 11th and 
12th numbered about 500, and that several were wounded, 
this from a prisoner. In compliance with the suggestion of 
the Lieutenant the regiment is ordered out to picket the rail- 
road near Batchelder's Creek. On this day leave of absence 
is granted to Colonel Osborn, that he may have a chance to 
visit home and so regain his health. On the next day, the 
15th, as ordered, the regiment took a train some nine miles 
out to Batchelder's Creek to join Company H, which had 
been there for some time. There were many alarms and con- 
sequent falling into line, but no attack came, though two 
companies were ordered to lie on their arms all night, and 
every one was expected to be ready to move at a minute's 
notice. Nov. 17th, Lieutenant Folsom, Company E, led a 
small party on a reconnoissance and to place obstruction in the 
road to hinder the advance of the enemy should he approach. 
Colonel Osborn also started for home, going by train to More- 
head City, thence by steamer Mississippi northward and 

The remaining days of November find the regiment on the 

162 Twenty-fourth ]\rASSACHusETTS Eegiment. 

picket-station, the men doino- their best to make themselves 
comfortal)le. They build huts for cook-houses, and when, on 
the 24th, the blankets that had been left in Washin^on were 
sent out, they had an additional source of comfort. Also, so 
long was their stay, stoves were brought out from Newbern, 
for the weather was exceedingly cold at times. The 27th 
was the first Thanksgiving in the enemy's country, and no 
loyal New Englander permits that day to pass without some 
sort of recognition. While the boys had sampled all the good 
things that the neighborhood produced, taken usually without 
a "by your leave," yet they felt that it would not be Thanks- 
giving without something extra. Morning rations were much 
the same as customary, and at 10.30 a.m'. the men were as- 
sembled for religious service, conducted by the Chaplain. 
"America" was the opening song, rendered with ardor by 
these men so far away from the homes they loved, devoted to 
the land whose praises they sang. The Chaplain's prayer, when 
he dwelt upon the homes represented by his hearers, made 
many an eye not wont to weep grow moist at the thought of 
firesides in the Northland. His text, "Quit ye like men." 
etc., was an elocjuent appeal to the soldiers to do their whole 
duty to the best of their ability. At 2.30 p.m. came the 
expected dinner, cooked in Newl^ern and brought directly to 
the camp. There were turkeys and chickens cooked to a turn, 
with plum padding in quantities, admitting of every man 
eating his fill. While cranberry sauce did not garnish the 
feast, and apple, squash and mince pie failed to appear, yet 
the soldiers felt as though Thanksgiving day was worth 
observing even in Dixie land. 

Tlie last month of the year finds the regiment still on duty at 
its picket-station in the vicinity of Batchelder's Creek, endur- 
ing with as much fortitude as possible the varying weather 
of the region, attending to the routine duties of the place, and 
looking forward expectantly to the next move. While life 
was not exactly monotonous, it did not have all the variety of 
an active forward movement. There was an unusual varia- 

Dec. 11, '62. Goldsboro Expedition. 163 

tion ou the 6th, when a train from Newbern was approaching 
the camp ; it ran into one loaded with wood, resulting in the 
shaking up of many, while fortunately no one was seriously 
hurt, the Chaplain getting the most by which to remember 
the incident. The next day the regiment was pleased to 
receive as visitore General Stevenson, his brother, the Major, 
and their father and mother, who had come dowai from Bos- 
ton to visit their sons and now, by means of a handcar, have 
come out to see the organizations in which the family has so 
much interest. A review was expected and announced, but, 
for some reason, it failed to come otf. All were astir early 
on the morning of the 10th, since orders had been received 
for the regiment to return to Camp Lee, and this was done 
after almost a month on the outer edge of the Union lines. 

But the stay on the "old camp ground" was brief, since 
orders came to have knapsacks packed ready for another 
start. Breakfast came at 5 o'clock on the 11th, and soon 
afterwards forty rounds of cartridges. Three days' rations 
were in the haversacks, rubber and woolen blankets were car- 
ried, at daylight line was formed, and the regiment marched 
to the Trent road to join the remainder of the force. The 
fog enshrouds everything so thickly that one's own brother 
could not be recognized two files away. In the rear of Fort 
Totten the line is halted for a couple of hours, and, during 
this wait, it is not out of place to state what is pending. His- 
tory will describe the incidents of the ensuing days as the 
Goldsboro Expedition. To several of the nine months' regi- 
ments from ^^Massachusetts the impending days were to form 
the principal sources of interest in their stories of campaign- 
ing. With them the battle of Kinston, the trip to Whitehall, 
and the advance to Goldsboro were items of transcendent 
importance. The wide dispersing of Burnside's forces, never 
large enough, had accounted for the inaction of General Fos- 
ter, who had been left in command on the departure of 
Burnside. The coming of the first of the nine months' men 
had enabled him to make his demonstration towards Tarboro, 

164 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

and now, with the coming of additional regiments and the 
loaning by General Peck of Wessells' brigade, he was war- 
ranted in relieving the tedium of garrison life by a move- 
ment towards Goldsboro with the hope and expectation of 
being able to destroy that railroad centre, and so seriously 
cripple the means of forwarding supplies to the Confederates 
further north. 


General Foster's forces comprise the brigade of General 
H. W. Wessells, which had arrived the 9th inst, including 
the 85th, 92d, 96th New York, 85th, 101st and 103d Pennsylva- 
nia, with the brigades of Colonels Amory, Stevenson and Lee. 
In all there were about 10,000 infantry, 610 cavalry (3d New 
York), forty guns included in the 3d New York Artillery, 
Belger's Rhode Island, the 23d and 24th New York batteries. 
In Colonel Amory 's brigade, the First, were the 17th, 43d, 
23d, 45th and 51st Massachusetts regiments. Colonel Steven- 
son had in his Second Brigade, as usual, the 10th Connecticut, 
5th Rhode Island, the 8th, 24th and the 44th Massachusetts. 
The Third Brigade, under Col. Horace C. Lee, had the 3d, 
5th, 25th, 27th and 46th ^Massachusetts regiments; the 9th 
New Jersey acted independently in advance with the cavalry. 
Quoting freely from General Foster's report, we find that the 
march on the first day, the 11th, was along the Kinston road 
about fourteen miles, when, "finding the road obstructed by 
felled trees, half a mile and over, I bivouacked for the night 
and had the obstruction removed during the night by the 
pioneers. ' ' 

Pushing on the next morning at daylight my cavalry 
advance encountered the enemy about four miles from our 
bivouac, and after a sharp but brief skirmish he was routed 
with some loss. The march was somewhat delayed through 
the destruction of the bridge over Beaver Creek. This was 
rebuilt and the Fifty-first ^lassachusetts was left to hold it 
and to protect the intersection of the main road and the one 

Dec. 14, '62. Battle of Kinston. 165 

the forces Avere on. Four miles further on, the main column 
bivouacked for the night. Saturday, the 13th, the column 
started again, leaving the Forty-sixth ^Massachusetts with 
artillery at another intersection of roads, and when South- 
west Creek is reached, the enemy, 400 strong, is found posted 
on the further side, with the intervening bridge destroyed. 
The stream was uufordabie, was at the foot of a deep ravine, 
hence a battery was ordered up, and the Ninth New Jersey, 
under its fire, made its way across by swimming, by frag- 
ments of the bridge and by a mill-dam, and formed on the 
opposite side. Other regiments, including Wessells' brigade 
and the Twenty-third ^Massachusetts, had succeeded in cross- 
ing and forcing the retirement of the foe. Those already 
over the creek bivouacked there for the night. Other troops 
had been dispatched along the south side of the creek 
towards Whitehall, and still others towards Kinston. 

Sunday, the 14th, the column again advanced, and about 
one mile from Kinston encountered the enemy strongly 
posted. In the attack which followed, the Twenty-fourth 
Massachusetts supported Belger's Battery, the other regi- 
ments of the brigade moving forward. The Confederates 
were driven across the Neuse, setting fire to the bridge as they 
did so, but the Union forces were so near that they captured 
about 400 of them. Our forces succeeded in extingiiishing the 
'fire, and the town of Kinston was occupied. The Confede- 
rate commander, Gen. X. G. Evans, retired about two miles 
and formed in line of battle. Under a flag of truce he was 
asked if he desired to surrender. On his declination prepa- 
rations were made to attack, pending which he withdrew 
still further, and night coming on the troops camped on the 
field; besides, the object of the expedition thus far had been 
accomplished. The next morning we recrossed the river and 
took the Goldsboro road, leaving a strong foi-ce in Kinston 
with orders to make a demonstration towards Goldsboro on 
that side of the Xeuse. The main column advanced to within 
3^ miles of Whitehall, where it encamped for the night. 
Early on the 16th, a force of cavalry under 3Ia.jor Garrard, 
with a section of artillery, was sent forward to ^Mount Olive 
on the Wilmington & Weldou Railroad to destroy the same. 
Passing Whitehall, though on the opposite bank of the Xeuse, 
he was fired upon. He succeeded in destroying about one 
mile of the railroad track. When the column reached the 


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Dec. '62. Goldsboro Expedition. 167 

brigade supported the movement and, after a severe encoun- 
ter, reached the bridge, which was fired by Lieut. Geo. W. 
Graham of the Twenty-third New York Battery; a number of 
others attempting the deed had lieen picked off by the enemy. 
All the artillery force was brought up to prevent the saving 
of the bridge, and while it was burning a countermarch 
towards Newbern was ordered, Lee's brigade forming the 
rear guard. As this move was begun, an attempt was made 
by the enemy to entrap and capture Lee's forces and ]\Iorri- 
son's Battery, but by the vigilance of the General it failed. 
With a strong cavalry rear-guard, the return was effected 
without mishap, carrying along the sick and wounded from 
Kinston and Whitehall. The casualties were 4 officers and 
88 enlisted men killed ; 19 officers and 468 enlisted men 
wounded, with 13 captured or missing. The destruction of 
the railroad bridge seems to have been the principal end 
attained by the trip if we exclude the number, 496, of the 
rebels captured, and their losses in the field, said to have been 
71 killed and 268 wounded. The defeat of Burnside at Fred- 
ericksburg had made it possible for General R. E. Lee to send 
any number of men to the help of the city, hence a return 
was the sanest move possible— R. R., Vol. 18. p. 54. 

As the report of General Foster includes the major feat- 
ures of the expedition, only those portions of General Steven- 
son's are given here that were not mentioned in the more 
comprehensive statement of the General commanding: 

Agreeably to orders from headquarters, this brigade joined 
the column the morning of Dee. 11 on the Trent road, being 
third in position. Nothing of importance occurred until the 
morning of the 14th, Sunday, when within a few miles of 
Kinston the advance was attacked by the enemy in force. 
The Tenth Gonnecticut and the Forty-fourth Massachusetts 
were ordered into position on right of road in support of 
battery; the Fifth Rhode Island and the Twenty-fourth Mas- 
sachusetts on left of road to support Belger's Battery. The 
Tenth Connecticut, Fifth Rhode Island and Forty-fourth 
^Massachusetts were th?n ordered forward to the 
advance. * * * * 

On the morninu' of Dec. 16 the enemy made another stand 
at Whitehall, occupying a strong position on the other side 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 





>-|V ^ 


Dec. '62. Goldsboro Expedition. 169 

of the river, havius' burned the bridge. The Forty-fourth 
^Massachusetts and Tenth Connecticut Avere ordered into posi- 
tion on the banks of the river, on the left of the road leading 
to the bridge. Belger's Battery was then ordered to shell the 
woods, the enemy's sharpshooters being so completely con- 
cealed that the fire of our infantry had but little effect. The 
line of march was then taken up towards Goldsboro, the 
Fifth Rhode Island and a few sharpshooters of the Twenty- 
fourth ^Massachusetts being left behind to engage the rebel 
sharpshooters till the rear of the column had passed. * * 
I cannot close this report without referring, as I do with 
gratitude, to the manner in which Col. F. L. Lee, command- 
ing the Forty-fourth ^lassachusetts : Lieut.-Col. R. Leggett, 
Tenth Connecticut: jMajor R. H. Stevenson, Twenty-fourth 
IMassachusetts : Captain Arnold, Fifth Rhode Island, and 
Captain Belger of the Rhode Island Battery have seconded 
all my efforts throughout the whole expedition. Their 
prompt and efficient action has facilitated every movement 
which has been undertaken. — ^R. R., Vol. 18. p. 82. 

So much officially, but how did the boys see the 
trip and what part did the Twenty-fourth play 
in the expedition? The men in the ranks were 
taking notes. As the troops were marching out of 
Newbern, the parents of General and Major Stevenson 
were seen watching the departure of their sons and the thou- 
sands of other men. Would it be strange if they thought 
more about their two than of the other ten thousand? The 
roads are in good condition for marching, and at noon the 
fog having cleared away, Newbern is still in sight. Orders 
against pillaging were issued, and the line, stretching out six 
or more miles, was cautioned against straggling and maraud- 
ing. The line began to camp late in the evening, and as the 
Twenty-fourth was on tlie left, it had the pleasure of seeing 
the hundreds of fires over which the men were making coffee, 
nearby rail fences affording the combustibles. In spite of 
the orders against straggling, there were footsore men who 
did not reach the camp till near midnight. The march is 
resumed on the 12th with a speedy introduction to wounded 

170 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Kegiment. 

rebels who had got in the way of the advance guard. Here 
and there a small white flag on the house of a poor white 
proclaims a non-resistant there. On the 13th the boys see a 
giiideboard with the words "26 miles to Newbern, 9 to Kins- 
ton," and they wonder if it lies like those at home. Rations 
are scarce, since the wagons have not kept up and the supply 
with which they started has disappeared rapidlj^ When the 
teams did arrive and food was distributed, one of the hungry 
men records the eating of no less than ten hardtack at one 
trial. As prisoners are brought in, one is noted who was 
taken and paroled at Williamston. According to the rules 
of war he deserved shooting. 

When the Union forces entered Kinston, they found it a 
rather pretty place with good buildings, though many of the 
people had deserted the town through fear of a bombardment 
and they are now returning under white flags, hoping to 
regain and keep their own, especially if it be under a Federal 
guard. A prominent placard is seen, saying, "U. Gill will 
fight the Yankees 1000 years." If only a fourth of a pint 
could be so valorous, what could be expected of a full half 
quart? Poor fellow, after all these forty years his millen- 
nium has hardly begun. On the 16th, while supporting Bel- 
ger's Battery, ^lajor Stevenson called for volunteer sharp- 
shooters, because of the enemy's success in picking off our 
gunners. The response was ready and numerous. While 
thus acting one of the Company I men, having climbed over 
a fence for a better chance, was hit by a bullet and he came 
back in a hurry, saying, "Oh, I'm shot," but on investigation 
he found that the missile had only hit his breastplate and 
glanced oft', whereupon he resumed Avork. Covered by these 
sharpshooters our forces were marching towards Goldsboro, 
and finally the detailed men, as directed by Lieut. Edgar 
Clough in charge, double-quicked out of range. It was 
when thus getting out of harm's way that Corporal Richard 
Lawless of Company G was shot. Under the direction of 
Adjutant Ordway, he was carried to a temporary hospital, 

Dec. '62. Goldsboro Expedition. 171 

and his comrades followed after the regiment. Some of the 
boys objected to the flying of the colors of the Fifth Rhode 
Island, which had come into the mel^e, and which drew the 
fire of the enemy, resulting in the wounding of a number of 
their own men. 

A careful observer says of the bridge across the Neuse 
near Goldsboro that it was a covered bridge 100 yards in 
length, having 200 yards of trestle approaches. On the 
return our men take a different route from Kinston down, 
and see certain fortifications erected by the enemy, but the 
taking of another road by our forces rendered them useless. 
Also, notwithstanding the orders against foraging, the return 
was not without its evidence of the possessions of the people 
in the shape of bacon and other variations from the regular 
commissary fare. Confederate dead, yet unburied, were 
found on the 19th. At 7.30 p.m. of the 20th some of the 
Twenty-fourth were back in Xewbern, but stragglers were 
coming in at all hours of the night. All of the men were 
footsore and weary, the last day's march having covered 
more than thirty miles. All sorts of estimates exist as to the 
distance marched in the expedition. As the railroad line 
extends over between fifty and sixty miles, the route taken 
by the army must have covered considerably more than twice 
that, though some of the wearied soldiers were certain they 
had sampled over 200 miles of walking. 

Reports from Confederate sources add nothing to that of 
General Foster, except as they confirm his, notions concerning 
the arrival of reinforcements from the North. As hitherto, 
the forces met liy ours were almost entirely from North Car- 
olina. Evidently, the enemy thought the Tar State should 
be defended by Tarheels, and they were good fighters. Of the 
incident where Lieutenant Graham fired the Goldsboro 
bridge, General G. W. Smith writes this: "About 2 o'clock in 
the afternoon one bold and daring incendiary succeeded in 
reaching the bridge, and, covered by the wire-wall of the 
abutment, lighted a flame which soon destroyed the super- 


Twenty-fourth INIassachusetts Eegiment. 



















s ^ 

































■ 03 




























rS W 

Dec. '63. Newbern. 173 


On the morning of the expedition's return, Colonel 
Osborn reached Newbern after his leave of absence and 
found that his regiment, under ^Nlajor R. H. Stevenson, was 
in the field and again without him. In a letter written this 
day he mentions finding the Stevenson parents, also Captain 
Prince and Lieutenants Edmands and Barnard, who had 
been unable to accompany their commands, and in the fore- 
noon Quartermaster Sergeant Thompson arrived, covered 
with dust, and saying that he had left the regiment twenty- 
five miles out, and that all expected had been accomplished. 
"I hope to see my regiment to-morrow morning, and am very 
impatient to meet the officers. I find that the barracks for 
the men are completed and are occupied by convalescents. 
The officers' are not yet completed. As there is, however, 
only a few days' work needed on them, I hope to occupy 
them before long." 

Confederate estimates of the numbers in the expedition 
were as wild as such were wont to be. No one placed them 
less than 15,000, and some put them as high as 30,000. Gov- 
ernor "Zeb" Vance, who commanded a regiment at Newbern, 
was at Goldsboro. 

The remaining days of December were spent very quietly, 
the earliest of them being devoted to rest and recuperation, 
needed after the exactions of the events of the lltli-20tli 
interval. As General Stevenson was having new hospitals 
erected, he drew upon his Yankee soldiers for every man who 
ever pushed a saw or drove a nail. His ^Massachusetts boys 
were equal to any exaction he was likely to make of them. 
The weather is remarkably warm for the time of the year, 
and, except for occasional rains, is delightful. Christmas 
day passed wath little enough notice to have pleased the most 
austere Puritan among the ancestors of these sons of their 
fathers. Only this record is found, "We had an oyster stew 
and a hardtack pudding for dinner." 

174 Twenty-fourth IMassachusetts Regiment. 

On the 27th, Colonel Stevenson received notice of his 
appointment as Brigadier-General, though for the greater 
part of his stay in the department he had been performing 
the duties of a brigade connnander. The Twenty-fourth is 
now in the Second Brigade, First Division, Eighteenth Army 
Corps, and its associates are the Forty-fourth Massachusetts, 
the Tenth Connecticut, and the Fifth Rhode Island. For 
the Tenth Connecticut the boys of the Twenty-fourth always 
have a warm place in their hearts. Of it Colonel Osborn 
writes, "It is a very plucky regiment * * and did glo- 
riously in the fight near Kinston. * * I have always had 
great confidence in them and they appear to have the same 
in us, and like to be in the brigade with us. The Fifth Rhode 
Island is a good regiment, though it has never had an oppor- 
tunity to signalize itself. The Twenty-fourth and the Forty- 
fourth you know, so you can form your own opinion con- 
cerning the brigade. With the modesty so characteristic of 
soldiers we think it is a crack one." General H. W. AVessells, 
who came down from Suffolk for the Goldsboro Expedition, 
commands the division, his jolace in his former brigade being 
taken by Col. Lewis C. Hunt of the Ninety-second New York. 
The year 1862 went out with the usual routine of drills, 
inspections and reviews. 


January is not to prove a memorable month in the history 
of our regiment except as it marks the departure of the 
Twenty-fourth for regions farther south. The beginning 
of the month was simplj^ a continuation of the last of Decem- 
ber. Friday, the 2d, there was a brigade review by General 
Wessells, and that officer proclaimed it the best he had seen in 
the army. The hard work of the men and officers in the 
school of the soldier was producing results. The lOth of the 
month is the date of Chaplain Mellen's resignation, and the 
next day some one records, ' ' The Chaplain left the regi- 
ment. ' ' The beginning of something new is the reading at 

Jan. '63. Newbern. 175 

dress-parade, the 13th, of an order to the effect that the 
troops were to be ready to go, in heavy marching order, to 
Beaufort, on twelve honrs' notice, and thence in transports to 
some place to them unknown. The 17th brings an order that 
all regiments that went on the Goldsboro expedition shall 
have lettered npon their colors the names of the battles, 
Kinston, Whitehall and Goldsboro. At noon of the 22d came 
the expected orders to pack np and be ready to march, 
tliongh not in twelve hours, but in just one hour and a half. 
Naturally, there were expressions of indignation from officers 
as well as enlisted men, l)ut all made the best of the situation, 
and boarded the train for ^loreheacl City as soon as possible ; 
and then disgust broke out afresh when it was found that 
the cars would not move till 4.30. Companies E and K were 
left in camp, doubtless to arrange for an absence of consider- 
able duration : it proved to be for aye. 

However, the train did start after a while, and of the 
following hours Colonel Osborn writes: "Though we did 
not start till after four o'clock we ran so slowly and 
stopped so often that it was half past eight before we 
arrived at the wharf in IMorehead City. Here we expected 
to find the Guide all ready to take us on board. I was 
indignant to find that she was lying at anchor a quarter 
of a mile from the wharf. I got a boat and went on 
board and found that the captain had had no notice that 
we were coming that day, and could not get in to the wharf 
in the dark, as the tide was running like a mill-sluice. I was 
thus obliged to march my men back a mile in the cold and 
dark, wake up the officer in command of the post, and distrib- 
ute my companies about among the various houses which 
happened to be vacant of everything but dirt, and which 
were in different stages of dilapidation. This took me till 
2 o'clock of the next morning, when at last I threw myself 
on the bed of Capt. E. G. Quincy of the Forty-third ^Massachu- 
setts, who had been traveling around in the sand with me for 
the last two or three hours, and using his utmost exertions to 
find us quartere." 

176 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

It was about noon when the Gnide arrived at the dock and 
the men with their baggage began to be stowed away therein. 
The vessel is an old acquaintance, and her passengers know 
every nook and cranny in her, but it is pretty hard finding 
places for 550 men where only -150 are expected to find com- 
fort. When the eight companies were on board, the steamer 
drew out into the stream and dropped anchor. As yet not 
even the officers know the destination of the voyage. The 
26tli brought Companies E and K, which embarked on the 
Hussar, and the fast friends of the Twenty-fourth, the Tenth 
Connecticut. Also this is the date of a communication to the 
captain of the Guide from General Foster, commanding the 
Eighteenth Army Corps : 

You will immediately proceed to Port Royal, S. C, keeping 
as near as possible to the rest of the fleet. In case of an un- 
avoidable separation, you will proceed directly to the above 

During these final days in North Carolina officers and men 
improve the opportunity to visit Beaufort, Fort Macon, as 
well as Morehead City. On the 27th, Companies B and C 
were placed on the schooner Highlander, where also were 
sent from the Hussar, E and K, all under command of Cap- 
tain Hooper. As the Guide is taking on coal it begins to look 
like a start. The next day, or the 28th, Colonel Osborn 
receives official notification of his appointment as Colonel, 
with whose duties he had long been familiar. The afternoon 
of the 29th witnessed the grand start for new scenes and new 
battles. So long had the regiment been in the Old North 
State they had actually grown to speak of Newbern as home, 
and, even now, these men on shipboard are reckoning on the 
length of time they are to be away, and it was many a long 
and weary month before they gave up thinking that General 
Foster would yet succeed in getting them back to the familiar 
haunts of the Trent and the Neuse. 

Jax. '63. South Carolina. 177 


The 30tli of January found the vessel on seas rough enough 
to cause many of these men, reared by the Atlantic, to recall 
the adventures of Jonah and the whale. Noon of the 31st 
brings the Guide to anchor in the harbor of Hilton Head, 
S. C. "When passing Charleston, flashes of light were seen 
and reports of heavy guns were heard. Subsequently, it was 
learned that Confederate iron-clads had come out and 
attacked the blockading fleet. Their harborage is in the 
extreme southern part of South Carolina, and for the present 
any expectations that may have been abroad as to serving 
against Charleston are in abeyance. A movement so consid- 
erable as the present must have had some commensurate 
motive. This portion of the Confederacy had fallen into 
Federal possession, Nov. 9th, 1861, the result of the attack of 
the fleet under the command of Commodore Samuel F. Du- 
pont, co-operating with land forces led by General T. W. 
Sherman. Greeley, in his history, says that had the victory 
been followed by vigorous action against Savannah and 
Charleston, they might have been taken then without serious 
opposition, but General Sherman had no orders to that effect, 
and, besides, was not supplied with the necessary shallow flat- 
boats necessary for navigating the inland Avaters of the coast. 
The post had proved of great utility as a base of supplies, 
and had seriously interfered W'ith blockade running, which 
had been exceedingly rife. From the time of capture till the 
period of transferral of troops from North Carolina, there 
had been little effort to extend the field of Federal activities. 

Port Royal belonged to the Department of the South and 
the smallness of the force in that department had prevented 
anything better than statu quo. It had long been felt by the 
army that an attack upon Charleston was overdue, and the 
Navy Department had the same in contemplation, but it was 
realized that an adequate land force was essential to assist 
the attack and to occupy any work that might be taken by 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

For such 
General Fos- 
^ ter, whose recent 
successes had called 
^ attention to him as 
an officer of ability^ 
was sent with a considerable 
land-force and siege equipage 
to assist in the campaign. There 
'^ was, too, a bit of propriety in his 

being thus selected, in that he was the 
officer in command at Moultrie in the 
spring of '61, who transferred his men to 
Sumter, and was one of those who withstood 
the assault on that fortress in April. His devoted 
followers thought they saw a chance for retribution 
in his thus leading them. What might have been and 
what they wished did not take place, for sundry reasons, 
as will appear. Greeley, in "The American Conflict," says: 
"General Foster, commanding the Eighteenth Corps in 
North Carolina, having been ordered to South Carolina 
to' co-operate with Commodore Dupont in an attack on 
Charleston, steamed from Beaufort, N. C, with 12,000 
excellent troops, landing them at Hilton Head; whence, 
finding Dupont not yet ready, he ran up to Fortress Mon- 
roe in quest of siege-guns. General Hunter, to whom 
the advent of Foster was a complete surprise, thereupon 
took command of Foster's men, broke up his corps organ- 

Feb. '63. Hilton Head. 179 

ization, and this exercise of authority being demurred 
to, ordered Foster's staff out of his department. Foster 
thereupon obtained authority from General Halleek to return 
to his own department, leaving his 12,000 men to serve as a 
reinforcement to General Hunter, under whose auspices, in 
conjunction M'ith Commodore Dupont, the attack was now 
to be made. Halleek 's sending Foster into Hunter's depart- 
ment without notice to the latter has not been explained." 

Port Royal, a large island on the coast of South Carolina, 
is about 200 miles south of Newbern, and forms one of the 
famous Sea Islands of the South State, and has long been 
noted for its production of Sea Island cotton, the longest staple 
known. Hilton Head, at the northwest angle of the island, 
is a considerable place, just now bustling Avith the activity 
incident to its being headquarters of a large number of Union 
forces. General David Hunter, familiarly known to some of 
his soldiers as "Black Dave." is in command. Whatever 
his merits as an officer, he is very far. from being popular 
with the men who have come down with General Foster. 
General Henry ]\I. Nagiee, who commanded a division in the 
Eighteenth Corps, w^as left in command of Foster's forces 
when the latter went northward, but the latter had not been 
gone three hours before Hunter sent orders to Nagiee, dated, 
however, two days before General Foster's departure, direct- 
ing Nagiee to make a return of the forces under his com- 
mand to the Department of the South. Matters were de- 
cidedly erossways, and so continued for many a day, indeed 
until General Nagiee himself followed Foster towards the 
north. But our immediate concern is with the Twenty- 
fourth Regiment, which is on shipboard waiting an oppor- 
tunity to debark and have a taste of the shore which lies so 
invitingly near. 

Until the 9th of February there is little to record, for life 
on the Guide is monotony itself. On the -Ith, the schooner 
Highlander, having four companies of the regiment, came in 
Avith all well on board. The 8th, first auniversarv of Roa- 

180 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

noke, singularly found the most of the regiment on the very 
vessel which on that momentous clay bore them to the North 
Carolina island. The next day, 9th, the steamer comes up to 
the wharf and her burden of Massachusetts men is landed on 
the soil of South Carolina, an event that some of these sol- 
diers had been anxious for. Brother Jonathan ever had 
hankerings for Caroline, and less than tvvo years before Dr. 
0. W. Holmes had written: ^ 

Caroline, Caroline, child of the sun, 

We can never forget that our hearts have been one ; 

and it is a forceful wooing that these swains will make, nor 
will they cease their efforts till those other lines of the Auto- 
crat are realized: 

The star flowering banner must never be furled, 
For its blossoms of light are the hope of the world. 

The landing is on St. Helena Island, opposite Hilton Head, 
and though the name suggests Napoleon and banishment, 
such is not the thought of the men so long cooped up on 
board the Guide and Highlander. Shelter-tents are in order 
now and parties of two, rather than a squad, will occupy 
them. That the place is considerably further south is evi- 
dent in the fact that oranges and bananas are found; rabbits 
are not uncommon, and the boys kill ducks with oyster shells. 
Near by is a settlement of contrabands, and it is not long 
before trouble ensues as to the taking of water from several 
wells which, apparently, the colored folks have had in use 
hitherto. The negroes objected, but of course in such a dis- 
pute they stood no chance, though the soldiers used only the 
weapons provided by nature. They were driven away, and in 
the m^l^e the overturning of a stove set fire to one of the 
shanties, and all of them went up in flames. This, too, occa- 
sioned trouble with headquarters. By the 15th sutficient 
order had been secured to warrant the resumption of dress- 
parades. The next day General Stevenson was arrested for 

Feb. '63. St. Helena Island. 181 

having- spoken slightingly of negro troops, thus advancing 
Colonel Osborn to the command of the brigade. 

Februaiy 18th the division of General 0. S. Ferry went 
on shipboard and then disembarked, some think it being a 
scheme of General Hunter to find out whether his orders 
would be obeyed. On the 19th General Naglee reviewed the 
division, Colonel Osborn commanding Stevenson's brigade. 
Washington's birthday was memorable in camp, since on that 
day came the official notification of Major R. H. Stevenson's 
promotion to Lieutenant-Colonel and Captain Charles H. 
Hooper to be Major. While the regiment is on shore, it is 
hardly on solid land, for altogether too much of the earth is 
in the air. The wind, constantly blowing, keeps the sand in 
motion, and cleanliness, such as our men have known, is 
hardly possible. Besides, there is the great disappointment 
over the departure of General Foster and the enforced 
remaining of the men, who have formed a deep attachment 
for him. A summary of a letter written by Colonel Osborn 
on the 22d presents a very good picture of the situation from 
the officers' viewpoint: 

Before General Foster left he issued an order informing 
his command that it was entirely distinct from General Hun- 
ter's, and placing it under command of General Naglee. 
General Hunter's order, assuming command, already re- 
ferred to (p. 179), excited bitterest opposition of officers and 
men of our detachment, and it was denounced in unmeasured 
terms. Our grounds for indignation were that we should be 
transferred from the department of General Foster, whose 
ability and energy all acknowledge, whom we all love and 
respect, to that of a man who at the best is just the opposite. 
We resent what seems to have been a trick in effecting the 
transfer. Captain Slaght, General Foster's chief quarter- 
master, refused to turn over his property, as ordered by 
Hunter, and was put in arrest by him. In the meantime. 
General Foster's staff dispatched, a steamer with messenger 
to him, conveying an account of this outrage, that he might 
seek redress in Washington. 

Hunter then put in motion all the machinery of military 

182 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

power to mix up and identify Foster's command with liis 
own, and to hamper him as much as possible in its extrication. 
He refuses to allow us any fresh . meat and bread, though 
claiming us as a part of his troops. To cap the climax of his 
insolent assumptions he has ordered General Foster's staff to 
leave the department on the first boat, because they sent away 
a steamer (their own) without his knowledge, and because 
they have used language calculated to excite insubordination, 
etc. We are longing for General Foster's return, that an 
end may be put to our misery. 

The 22d also brought back the steamer S. S. Spaulding, hav- 
ing on board Adjt.-Gen. E. D. Townsend, who evidently had 
come to try to settle the difficulties just then so prominent. It 
is on record that drill or roll-call was demanded of the new 
arrivals every two hours. General Hunter expressing a pur- 
pose to know where the men were and what they were doing. 
Feb. 24th there was a review by General Hunter, nineteen 
regiments appearing, and Colonel Osborn commanding the 
Twenty-fourth. The 25th came an order from General Hun- 
ter, revoking the one whereby the North Carolina troops w^ere 
mingled Avith the Tenth Corps, an act which conferred a deal 
of pleasure on all the organizations concerned. The 27th 
the regiment was mustered for pay. Colonel Osborn was 
called aboard the Secor to meet General Naglee, who 
informed him that he Avas obliged to transfer Osborn 's 
brigade to General Ferris' Division. 

]March begins with Sunday and, as the regiment is minus 
a chaplain, and as the chaplain of the Ninth New Jersey Vol- 
unteers is to preach, the regiment listens to him as he gives a 
"red-hot Presbyterian sermon." The days are not specially 
interesting, dust being the chief item mentioned in the annals 
of the times. On the 5th, Captain Richardson of G and 
Lieutenant Bell of C return, both having been absent on 
leave for several wrecks. Some good friend at home had sent 
down to the men of Company G a pair of stockings for each 
man, and Captain Richardson took a deal of pleasure in 
being the dispenser of the gift. General Naglee is relieved 

Mar. '63. Seabrook Island. 183 

and ordered to New York, his place being taken by General 
0. S. Ferry, -who calls together the commanders of brigades 
to explain the situation. The 6th, the regiment is subjected 
to a most rigid inspection by officers of General Hunter's 
appointment. The result was highly creditable to all con- 
cerned. Each day has its proper amount of drill, and Col- 
onel Osborn gives to the several captains opportunity to con- 
duct battalion drills. On the 26th, all the infantry on the 
Island of St. Helena was reviewed by General Hunter; Gen- 
eral Stevenson commanded, General Ferry being ill. A 
change of base is in contemplation, and on the 28th the regi- 
ment went on board the steamer United States, the Tenth 
Connecticut and the Fifty-sixth New York having boarded 
the Catawba. Both steamers anchored in the stream, and the 
men disposed themselves for sleep upon the decks, but two 
schooners had been made fast to the United States, one of 
them having on board the outfit of Sutler Clark of the 

The trip is not a long one, for, beginning at 8 a.m., it is over 
at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the landing being on Seabrook 
Island, situated a little to the northward of St. Helena, and, 
so nearer Charleston, which apparently is the point towards 
which the army is headed. The other regiments are ashore 
first, but the Twenty-fourth soon follows and marches after, 
about three miles, to a plantation, Avhere camp is pitched for 
the night. Picket-posts are established, and in the midst of a 
severe rain the remainder of the regiment tries to sleep. The 
28th, General Stevenson withdrew all the troops, except those 
of the Twenty-fourth who were on picket, back to the cover 
of the gunboats. There are indications of the near presence 
of the enemy, but he is not near enough for anything serious. 
The regiment is relieved on the 31st by the Fifty-sixth New 
York, and marches back to the beach and prepares to locate a 
camp. Land is cleared off by a large fatigue party, company 
streets are laid out, tents are pitched, and at last the men lie 
down to restful sleep, something they have not had since 
leaving St. Plelena Island. 

184 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

An excellent picture of life during the month of March is 
in existence, sent home by an enlisted man. Certain parts 
of it are reproduced here for the benefit of those who 
remember those dusty days, but did not then inscribe their 
impressions : 

I think you would like to see the way beans are 
cooked here. A hole is dug in the ground like a grave, 
though not so deep, and a fire is started in the morning so as 
to have a lot of hot coals by night. When the beans have 
been parboiled and put in kettles, the coals are raked aside 
and the kettles are placed in, the hot embers then being 
crowded up against and over the pots. Then the space is 
filled up with earth to keep the heat all in. There lies the 
body of Mr. Bean till morning, when he is taken up, thor- 
oughly baked, and is soon reburied in more or less perma- 
nent receptacles. Friday morning. ]March 27tli. we were 
turned out early, packed our knapsacks, struck our 
tents before breakfast, and went on board the steamer 
United States about noon. We sailed into the North Edisto 
River in the afternoon, and under the cover of shells from 
the Monitor and the gunboats, effected a landing, No one 
knew how near the rebels might be. hence the protection of 
the vessels. * * After landing, we marched up to where 
the other regiments were, and went into camp. We had to 
go out on picket, some of us, and being in heavy marching 
order our knapsacks were weighty. I should think mine 
weighed fifty pounds. Luckily, the palmetto leaves are very 
large, and we placed three or four of them on the ground 
and then laid a rubber and a woolen blanket on them. 
After that two of us would pull another pair of rubber and 
woolen coverings over us, and we were in good shape till 
morning. The rain Sunday was something just awful. Such 
storms are seldom seen anywhere. We fixed up shelters 
with our rubber blankets, while others used palmetto leaves. 
All of the companies, except E and K, went out on picket. 
While it was raining hardest, the palmetto leaves being very 
plenty and large, from four to six feet across, the boys used 
them as umbrellas. It was a comical sight to see men stand- 
ing around each with a big leaf on his head. 

April '63. Seabrook Island. 185 

April is to prove another uneventful month, filled, to be 
sure, with routine duties and many longings for Newbern 
and association -with admired and respected commanders. 
However, April came in with something like an April fool, 
since at 6 a.m. the regiment was turned out with the infor- 
mation that the enemy had come in, a whole regiment of 
them, and had surrounded a house where the headquarters 
of the picket had been established the night before, with the 
evident expectation of making a rich capture, but the game 
was not there and the rebels went back perhaps thinking 
of the possibilities of All Fools' day. The regiment stood 
in line about three hours, and then was dismissed, the report 
coming in that the enemy had retired. Of the present loca- 
tion of the Twenty-fourth Colonel Osborn writes: ''We have 
occupied this place to prevent the rebels from throwing up 
batteries to annoy our transports which will rendezvous 
here. The island is on the north side of the North Edisto 
River, and adjoins John's Island. The harbor is a very 
good one and within twenty miles of Charleston. Boats are 
collecting here rapidly, and the long-talked-of attack will 
soon take place. We are encamped on a point of the island 
close to the river, under cover of the gunboats, and we are 
throwing up fortifications and making such preparations for 
defense as will enable us to withstand a much superior 
force. Ironclads and gunboats have been arriving here 
constantly and they are all now ready to proceed." 

In these days of delay there are many exchanges of cour- 
tesies between the officers of the land and naval forces. Din- 
ners are served which are a cheerful variation in camp 
monotony, and the Glee Club of the Twenty-fourth, with the 
band of the Tenth Connecticut, serenade the officers who go 
down to the sea in ships. On the 5th Heckman's division 
appeared off the harbor and waited for a tide to permit a 
safe entrance, getting in finally and anchoring about dark. 
The division's stay is brief, for it steamed away on the 10th, 
going back to Hilton Head, the attack on Charleston having 

186 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

failed. The camp of the Twenty-fourth is close to the 
water, and the island is covered with woods, save where a 
plantation has been cleared near the picket-line. The abun- 
dant palmetto excites attention, not on account of beauty, 
though it be the symbol of the State, but because of its 
remarkably large leaves. The thick woods abound in a 
rank undergrowth, and with vines running and trailing in all 
directions. "The prettiest of these that I have seen is the 
jessamine. The vine is red. with graceful, slender leaves of 
a deep green, and a lovely yellow flower, bell-shaped, with 
an exquisite fragrance. It is very luxuriant, completely 
covering little shrubs and climbing to the tops of tall trees. 
Its delicate perfume fills the air without oppressing it, and 
gives me more pleasure than anything I have seen in the 
South. On St. Helena I had my tent constantly hung 
with it." 

April 10th, lest they might be' forgotten, the enemy came 
down to the Seabrook House and fired on our pickets from 
the windows. The next day, just before light, shots were 
heard and Captain Gardner reported that his outpost had 
been attacked by a few men, but they had been repulsed, 
though Sergeant Geo. S. Peach of Company B was badly 
wounded in the thigh, resulting in the amputation of the 
leg at the hip, and for some time his recovery was deemed 
unlikely. Later in the daj^ another alarm, this time a false 
one, resulted in the ordering out of several companies. Thus 
were the men saved from the ennui liable to come to those 
having only routine work. On this day, notwithstanding 
its many interludes. Colonel Osborn finds time to write as 
follows : 

The place is pleasant and our residence here would not be 
disagreeable but for the vicinity of the enemy and the conse- 
quent necessity of being constantly on the alert, and of hav- 
ing one regiment doing picket duty. As there are but three, 
each one is made to do that duty one third of the time. My 
regiment is now on picket, having come up Thursday, the 

April 13. 63. Col. Osborn 's Letter. 187 

9th. and is to remain till next Thursday. We see constantly 
small bodies of the enemy hovering about our lines. The 
other day they fired about fifteen shots at our outposts, 
injuring no one. The fire Avas not returned, for I have 
given orders that no man shall fire unless the enemy come 
so near as to make it a dead shot. * * This afternoon 
they came so close to our lines that a dozen of my men fired 
on them. They think they wounded one, the rebels retiring 
without loss of time. 

It was during this period of picket duty that one of those 
amusing incidents occurred that all military organizations 
are liable to. It was after dark that a sentinel was con- 
vinced that he heard a man cross his beat and he challenged 
sharply, but without any reply. This he did repeatedly, 
but did not fire lest he might harm some of his own regiment 
then asleep in their huts. The officers in charge roused 
their men, and the nearby woods were carefully searched, 
but without success. Again, a little later, more men were 
roused and the search was renewed. At midnight the guard 
was doubled, a decidedly creepy sensation pervading the 
several posts. In the morning the mystery was solved, for 
the intruder was no less an object than an ass. Had he only 
uttered a few notes of the song he is wont to sing he might 
have saved those Yankee soldiers a lot of trouble. 

April 13th Colonel Osborn writes Lieutenant-Colonel 
Hoffman, Asst. Adjutant-General on General Foster's staff, 
making sundry inquiries as follows : 

I am very anxious to know Avhether we are to go back to 
Newbern or to 'remain here. We fear the latter, but still 
have some lingering hopes of the former. * * We are 
constantly hearing from our friends in Newbern that every 
effort is making and will continue to be made to recall us. 
and all of us earnestly hope that they may be successful. 
* * This state of suspense is intolerable, and I Avould 
rather know the worst at once than bear it. Nearly all my 
clothes and other property are still in Newbern, unless they 
have been stolen, Avhich is not unlikely, also my books, pri- 
vate and regimental papers. I have not been able to make 

188 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

up my aeeonnts for two quarters nor my payrolls for the 
two months ending Fel). 16th. I have a lieutenant and 
about 150 men there who have not been permitted to join 
the regiment. Many of them are fit for duty, and are very 
much needed now when we are doing picket duty one third 
of the time. Lieutenant Edmands I absolutely need, as we 
are very short of officers. If their remaining in Newbern 
will increase the chances of our return, I will gladly con- 
trive to do without them, but if there is no hope of such a 
result, they ought to be sent to me immediately. 

To this letter General Foster added this endorsement : 
"May 5th — It is my earnest desire to have the Twenty-fourth 
Massachusetts Volunteers ordered back to this department, 
and I have made the most urgent appeals to have General 
Stevenson's brigade, to which this regiment belongs, 
ordered here at once to resist the still threatened attacks 
by General Hill's forces and to replace the thirteen regi- 
ments whose terms of service are beginning to expire." 

In the light of subsequent events it seems a pity that so 
much time should have been wasted in gazing off towards 
the unattainable land. Our men in the South Carolina 
swamps M^ere not unlike the Children of Israel, who sat 
down by the waters of Babylon and wept when they remem- 
bered Zion. 

When the Aveek's duty on picket was up and the regiment 
returned to camp, it was to find orders to break camp and 
to go aboard the steamer New England. Companies B and 
C, which had come down early in the morning, had got mat- 
ters pretty well advanced. At 3 p.m. countermanding orders 
were received from General Hunter, and the men came 
ashore and once more pitched their tents, a very good illus- 
tration of our traditional soldiers who marched up the hill 
and then marched down again. The anguish over the 
repitching of tents is somewhat assuaged by the rumor that 
the attack on Charleston is to be renewed, and that there is 
to be something done other than picket duty and the fight- 
ing of furious sand flies. Again naval and military liospi- 

May '63. Seabrook Island. 189 

talities are resumed and the best is made of the situation. 
On the 22d. in the camp of the Ninety-seventh Pennsylva- 
nia, happened a sad affair, likely, however, wherever w^his- 
key abounds. A private soldier, ugly drunk, resisted the 
attempt to arrest him by a sergeant, and by the latter was 
shot dead. Of course, comrades were exasperated, and the 
officer, who may have been over-hasty, was obliged to flee for 
his own life. An officer writing on the 2-lth says: "We 
are anxious to get back [to Xewbern] and would rather 
fight with Foster than lie still under Hunter. Yv'e 
used to growl at some things in Newbern, but, after living 
three months in this department, we consider the depart- 
ment of North Carolina a heaven of order, military ability 
and energy." 

April 23 Companies D, H, I and F went on a recon- 
noissance to Botany Bay Island, under the command of 
Major Hooper, and on the same day General Stevenson for- 
warded certain dispatches of Commodore Dupont under a 
flag of truce. It was on the 17th that the men were paid for 
four months, and, being in a generous frame of mind, a col- 
lection was taken up for Sergeant Peach, who had lost his 
leg. and it resulted in about $500 being turned over to the 
unfortunate soldier. Also, they did a similar kindness for 
James ]\Iackin of Company H. who had also lost a leg. The 
sutler was in evidence after pay-day. and it was, possibly, ow- 
ing to his prevalence with the Pennsylvanias that the 
private lost his life. At any rate, money bums in 
the pockets of many of the men till they pass it 
over to the keeping of the regimental dispenser of 
extras. Tobacco, to some a necessity, has the high price of 
a luxury, and the lowest rating is $2.25 for two plugs. How 
happy were the few who had never learned to use the weed! 
Roll-calls and drills continue frequent when in camp, the 
former every two hours save late in the afternoon, when 
they come every three hours. Thursday, the last day of the 
month, the regiment resumes its place on the picket-line. 

190 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

The month of May among English-speaking people in all 
northern regions excites feelings of pleasure over the ap- 
proach of summer, but in these South Carolina daj's Yankee 
soldiers had the impression that summer was already there. 
Blossoming flowers, ripened berries, growing vegetation, all 
proclaimed the Aveather that in Massachusetts would be had 
the last of June or in July. This first day of the month 
reports are received of the rebel attack on Washington, 
N. C, and so familiar are all the men with the scenes around 
that place they seem themselves to be almost there. In- 
deed, many of them wish they were, as they contrast the 
activity there with their own rounds of prosaic duties. On 
the 4th of May Colonel Osborn writes: 

My camp where I hold the reserve is charmingly situated 
in the woods, about three miles from the point Avhere the 
regimental camp is pitched. The only drawback is a swamp 
which lies right alongside of it, and which, I fear, will prove 
unhealthy. It abounds in ducks, which are so numerous and 
so tame that they could be shot with a pistol were firing 
allowed. Some of the men have knocked them over with a 
stick. There are also alligators in the swamp in any quan- 
tity and of all sizes, from two to ten feet long. My men 
caught two yesterday about three feet long each. They put 
a slip-noose on a long pole and, watching their opportunity, 
passed it over the heads of the victims and pulled them 
struggling out. 

General Foster has got out of his difficulties and gained 
great credit. He is a man of great energy and pluck, and 
just the one for the situation in which he found himself. 
The rebels sent him a flag of truce, summoning him to sur- 
render. They had 12,000, he 1500 men. He replied that if 
they wanted tlie town, they might come and take it. After- 
wards they sent another flag, requiring him to remove the 
women and children, as they intended to shell the town. 
This was rather cool, as the women and children were not 
ours, but belonged to the men who were fighting in the rebel 
ranks. Foster's reply was that if they sent another flag he 
would fire on the bearer. Afterwards, when he found that 
he could do nothing at AVashington to relieve the place, and 

May '63. Seabrook Island. 191 

that those on whom he relied at Xewbern for succor were 
incompetent to render it, he ran the blockade of the rebel 
batteries in a steamer that was riddled with balls, whose 
pilot was killed, and many of whose crew Avere wounded. 
The knowledge that he was at liberty and in a position to 
use all his resources seems to have frightened the rebels, 
for they soon raised the siege and went away, so that the 
forces that Foster sent up had no fight. * * We are con- 
stantly tormented by pests of the insect tribe. The worst is 
the sand-fly, which is about as large as a horse-fly's head, 
and whose sting is as sharp as the prick of a cambric needle. 
They swarm everywhere and are perfectly unendurable. 
Mosquitoes are just appearing. They disturbed my last 
night's repose seriously. Flies are as thick as in midsum- 
mer. Snakes are very plenty, and every day some are 
killed and brought into camp. 

May 6th the hearts of officers and men were gladdened 
by the notice from General Hunter's headquarters that fur- 
loughs would be granted at the rate of about three to every 
hundred. Accordingly, applications were forwarded, but the 
parties in whose behalf they were sent found to their grief 
that there was many a slip " 'twixt cup and lip." Tan- 
talus had not more trouble in his efforts to get a drink than 
had those soldiers in trying to reach their northern homes. 
The possibilities of illness from his swamp proximity were 
realized on the 7th, when Colonel Osborn had to take to his 
bed under an attack of malaria, which maintained its evil 
influence for many a subsequent month. At 7 o'clock of 
that day the regiment was relieved from picket and 
returned to camp. On the 9th, at dress-parade, orders were 
read modifying the former rule as to frequency of roll-call. 

While the weather is fine, the prevalence of reptiles and 
noxious insects makes these northern boys just a little 
apprehensive, and one of them tells of his sitting under a 
tree writing his regular letter home with his ink-bottle by 
his side. Without looking, he reached down to dip his pe;i 
in the bottle, and was surprised at placing his hand on 

192 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

something cold, when, glancing quickly, he saw a big black 
snake looking him in the face. The result was a suspension 
of correspondence while he killed that reptile. One of the 
boys went down into a marsh and soon fell over screaming 
loudly. Friends rushing to learn what the trouble was 
discovered that a large snake had wound itself around the 
fellow's legs, throwing him down. When killed and meas- 
ured, the serpent revealed six feet of slimy length. But 
there are flowers as well. The first magnolia .blossom, "as 
large as a plate," excites the admiration of northern eyes, 
and, not satisfied with seeing it on the stem, some one must 
needs climb the tree to get it for his captain. Of course, it 
fell to pieces in his hands, as fragile as the poppies of Burns' 
writ : 

For pleasures are like poppies spread, 
You seize the flower, the bloom is shed. 

May 14th the following order for camp life and duties 
obtained: "Reveille at 5 a.m.: breakfast, 5.30; guard-mount, 
7.30 ; police call, 8 ; dinner, 12 ; supper. 6 p.m. ; drill and 
dress-parade at such times as shall from time to time be 
designated on account of the tide." General Hunter visited 
the island on this date. Also, on this same day. General 
Foster wrote to Colonel Osborn from Newbern as follows: 

My dear Colonel: 

I received your kind letter and immediately took the 
most effective action in my power. However, I have, in 
fact, been constantly making the most strenuous efforts to 
get the troops back ever since the failure on Charleston, but 
have signally failed. I fear my influence is much weakened 
by the row with Hunter, and that he has proved too much, 
backed by his sable brigade. But he must look out for his 
laurels, for we are soon to have colored troops here, too. 
The fact that I armed the negroes at Little Washington 
when necessary is convincing a certain party that there is 
some moral excellence left in me. Hunter's head would 
increase several degrees in its oscillations if he knew how 

May '63. Seabrook Island. 193 

near Ave are to stealing his thnnder. Seriously speakinc' 
though, I failed in all my applications. General Halleck 
■\vonld not order you back nor even would he let me go on 
to "Washington to make explanations. I went so far as to 
promise, if he would let me have Stevenson's brigade (five 
regiments) back again, to take a most important point on 
the seacoast and hold it, a point that could be made of most 
signal value. This was refused like all the others by Gen- 
eral Halleck, but he told me he would like to have me do it 
if I could with my present force. This whole thing annoys 
and grieves me more than I can express, both on account of 
the disappointment of the troops and the idea that my 
excess of zeal led them into their present position. How- 
ever, I hope you will make the best of it and do your duty 
in the same gallant and devoted way that it has always been 
done by you and the Twenty-fourth. If there is a chance at 
any time to get you back. I shall seize it immediately. In the 
meantime, you and your friends and the friends of the regi- 
ment and of the brigade can do all that will prove effective. 
Give my best love to General Stevenson, and tell him that 
my last proposition (to take a certain point) came very 
near bringing him and his whole brigade. 

On the 17th it was announced that General Ferry had 
assumed command of the island. Two days lalfer Surgeon 
Green interdicts drills, under the impression that at present 
they are not conducive to the regimental health. But if 
drills are for the time ruled out, there is an abundance of 
fatigue work, and for defensive purposes heavy timber is 
cut from Seabrook and Botany Bay Islands. Here, too, 
Yankee ingenuity appears when wheels from certain of the 
batteries are utilized to mount some of the large and long 
pine logs which are cut and must be transported to the line 
of proposed works. "With the butt end of the tree on the 
axle, and with a long rope attached, the men play firemen 
and let themselves out with a rush, making as much play 
of their work as they can. The timber on Botany Bay is 
very large, and some of the live oaks are immense. The pal- 
metto is hard to cut, affording a stringy or wire-like resist- 

194 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

ance. The pines are from thirty to fifty feet long, and. are 
as straight as arrows. Blackberries are abundant, and the 
thirty or more men who go out each day to work among the 
trees have a pleasant addition to their hardtack rations. A 
wharf is also in process of building, and on this, too, New 
England energy and skill are expended, though some of the 
workmen remark that it is not worth their while to work 
too hard on "thirteen dollars a month." 

It was during these days that Hooker and his Potomac 
Army were fighting at Chancellorsville and news reached 
our men, from rebel sources, when across the Edisto there 
came the cry from one of the Confederate pickets, "I say, 
Yank, did you know that Fighting Joe Hooker was raising 
Ned in Richmond and has killed and taken prisoners a Avhole 
lot of we 'uns?" The only pity was that it did not prove to 
be true. A cheerful picture of affairs at Seabrook is had 
from these words of Colonel Osborn. written on the 2-ith : 
"I have no less than five bouquets in my tent, all of them 
large, and one completely filling a bucket. They did not 
grow on this island, but on Edisto. where there are some fine 
deserted plantations. We send expeditions there frequent- 
ly to get lumber and bricks, and the men return laden with 
flowers and blackberries. They told me that the berries are 
thicker there than they ever saw them before. One squad 
brought back eighty quarts, picked in a very short time. 
This is by no means such a beautiful place as Edisto. There 
is but one plantation, the rest of the island consisting of 
swamp and vv^oods. The latter we are clearing away over a 
large surface for the purpose of fortifying. General Ferry 
has returned from the north, and is now in command of the 
two islands of Seabrook and Botany Bay. General Steven- 
son has applied for a leave of absence and expects to get it." 

Quartermaster James Thompson, who has been on leave 
of absence for some time, sends a letter to Colonel Osborn, 
from which certain parts throw light on the situation in 

June '63. Seabrook Island. 195 

which the regiment is placed. He writes in Newbern M&\ 
29th to the following purport : 

I left Port Eoyal on the 2cl with a leave of absence for 
twenty days, and succeeded in getting transportation on 
the Spaiilding the same day. On arriving in Newbern I 
delivered my letters to General Foster. He was pleased to 
hear from the Twenty-fourth, and said he would make an 
effort immediately to get us ordered back. He accordingly 
wrote to General Halleck, the Adjutant-General Secretary 
of War, ]\Ir. Sumner and others, and sent me with the 
dispatches to "Washington, D.C. A letter which you had writ- 
ten to Colonel Hoffman and a letter from Hutchings he en- 
dorsed on the back and told me that if I could use them to 
advantage, to do so, and if I had any friends of influence in 
the North, to get them to do all in their power to get us re- 
turned to the Department of North Carolina. I went accord- 
ingly to Washington and presented my dispatches ; among 
them Avas a private letter for General Halleck containing a 
request from General Foster to visit the capital, and asking 
for General Stevenson's brigade. The answer to this letter 
was this: "General Foster will not be permitted to leave his 
department at present, and no private interview will grant 
him the reinforcements he wishes." ***** 

I am now in Newbern and have been here several days. 
General Foster says I had better take everything down and 
Colonel Biggs will furnish me with a large schooner on the 
1st of June, which is to transport all of my goods and chat- 
tels to Edisto, but it is to return without reporting to any 
quartermaster in the Department of the South. I shall 
probably arrive about the time this reaches you, perhaps 
before. I will bring the horses and whatever men may be 
well enough to report for duty. 

All of the men, officers included, who had started on their 
leave of absence and had got as far as Hilton Head, had to 
come back, some new idea apparently being in the mind of 
the commanding General. All such freaks did not improve 
the estimate in which he was held by his soldiery. The 
monotony of outpost duty on the very last day of the 
month was varied by James Fairbanks of Company G acci- 

196 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

dentally shooting himself throngh the great toe, and 
Thomas Garrity of D shot himself so badly in the foot that 
amputation was necessary. He, too. was on outpost, and 
the accident happened when, getting up from his rest, he 
drew his gun towards himself by the barrel. There was 
just a crumb of comfort in the thought that it might have 
been worse. 

Still another month is begun on Seabrook. June, the 
month of roses at home, is much further along in the season 
here, and roses were in order long ago. The weather for the 
most part is intensely hot, and one of the boys in a letter 
home says, "The sweat runs off from me in streams as I 
write, though I am sitting in the shade." Colonel Osborn 
begins a letter on the 1st with reference to the return of the 
furloughed men, and further remarks, "The reason given 
by General Hunter for detaining these men was that he had 
received important dispatches which had caused him to 
send the Cosmopolitan to Fortress Monroe with a special 
messenger to the government, whose return he must await 
before allowing the men to go North. * * i thought I 
knew something of the uncertainty of military events 
before, but I never saw such helpless bewilderment as is 
daily exhibited in this department. A short time ago three 
regiments were sent up here to reinforce us, with a general 
to command the whole, but now they are suddenly ordered 
away and we are left with three, as at first. * * "We are 
again on picket and enjoying it very much. The weather is 
very good, though warm. I miss the sea breeze that I have 
in the camp. When we first came up here, we had three 
rainy days, which were a little uncomfortable. There are 
no signs of the enemy except their pickets, a few of which 
we constantly see in front of us. I do not think there is 
any force of them upon the island." 

On the -Ith. the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania relieved the 
Twenty-fourth on the picket line, and the latter came down 
to the camp and had a house-cleaning or a thorough tour of 

June '63. Seabrook Island. 197 

police duty. The first dress-parade for some time signalized 
the 6th, and the day also was memorable in that some of 
the men went across the river and appropriated boards and 
other effects left by a departed regiment, with a view of 
making more comfortable their own quarters. By way of 
contrast, the 8th was so cold that many of the men wore 
their overcoats. The same day brings Quartermaster 
Thompson from Newbern and the accompanying impedi- 
menta of which he wrote recently. His coming with the 
baggage was qnite a comfort to the whole regiment, though 
it did make things look much less like a return to Newbern. 
Not the least item in the list was the coming back of many 
friends who had been detained so long in the hospital there. 
June 10th is noteworthy on account of soft bread rations 
being given out, and the late coming of a mail, but with the 
hunger for news from home there was granted the permis- 
sion to have lights for forty-five minutes later. Precious 
boon to those lads whose sleep was all the more refreshing 
with the consequent dreams of home and loved ones. 

The same boat which brings the mail returns Captains 
Daland and Maker, with Lieutenants Partridge and Jones, 
from their homeward tour, and news is brought of the 
illness of Major Hooper. On the 13th there was a shower so 
severe that the men had to go without beans, since "it 
rained so hard that it put out the fire in the bean holes." 
Of these mid-monthly days and the coming of baggage. Col- 
onel Osborn remarks. "We have been shockingly un- 
comfortable for months on account of it. When we 
left Newbern, I left all my accounts unfinished and did not 
take my papers Mith me, for I expected to return in a short 
time and did not like to run the risk of losing them. ^My 
sicloiess had already put me behindhand and this unfortunate 
absence had greatly added to it, to my intense annoyance, 
for the department had several times notified me to forward 
my accounts. They must think me very negligent. Now, 
however, I have got to work upon them and soon they will 

198 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Kegiment. 

be all right. I have been in a sorry plight, too, with my 
clothes, having left practically everything except what conld 
be carried in a valise. While I have censnred the men for 
any fault in their apparel, my own cap was bleached to a 
green and my blouse to a dingy purple." 

The contrast between the natty appearance of the officers 
of the navy, with whom ours of the Twenty-fourth are con- 
stantly thrown in contact, and the latter 's necessary shabbi- 
ness is all the more galling, but the coming of the Quarter- 
master and the baggage relieves many a difficulty. On Fri- 
day, the 12th, there was a review of the Tenth Connecticut, 
the Twenty-fourth and the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania by 
General Stevenson, accompanied by Captain George W. Rod- 
gers of the ironclad Catskill, Colonel Osborn commanding 
the brigade. The parade-ground was the beach at low tide, 
which served very well. The officers having received their 
dress uniforms, sashes, etc., their showing was something like 
that of former days. An interesting item in the return of 
the officers from their northern trip is the bringing of a sum 
of money raised by the former band leader, P. S. Gilmore, 
to which the father of General Stevenson has added a con- 
siderable amount, all to be used in the equipping of a band. 
For this purpose, the Colonel details fourteen men, who, with 
the newly purchased instruments, practice assiduously. 

On the loth, Surgeon Green comes up from Hilton Head 
wath the news that General Hunter had been relieved by 
General Q. A. Gillmore, a reason for many a long-drawn sigh 
of relief by the men from ^Massachusetts, Connecticut and 
elsewhere. Having had the gift of a seine or fish-net, some 
of the Yankees proceed to try it on the 16th, and with excel- 
lent results, so far as numbers caught, and each man has at 
least one of the tinny products. ]\Iullets are the chief variety 
secured. New tents came on the 17th, Bunker Hill Day, and 
men from the Bay State celebrate by making themselves rnove 
tidy and presentable. 

On the 16th began the sittings of a court martial, of which 

June '63. Seabrook Island. 199 

Colonel Osborii is president, and hence he is relieved of his 
regimental duties. General (iilhiiore arrives in camp in the 
evening of the same day. On the 18th, with one hundred men 
of the Tenth Connecticut, General Stevenson goes on a 
reconnoissance to Haulover Cut. As he returned, he w^as fol- 
lowed by 500 of the enemy and one piece of artillery, which 
was planted at the Seabrook House, and tiring on our pickets 
began. Our own artillery was ordered up and with help 
from the gunboats, the enemy was soon driven off. The ap- 
pointment of General Gillmore gives satisfaction to officers 
and men, and they are expecting something in the way of 
activity. The weather is very warm and were it not for the 
sea-breezes, would be very uncomfortable. Sea-bathing, also, 
is delishtful and is Avell utilized, even though the fishermen 
with their seine have caught a shark. 

Sunday, the 21st, brought the paymaster and two months' 
compensation. Collections are made for Private Garrity of 
D, who was wounded on picket, and for the family of Corporal 
Lawless, killed on the Goldsboro Expedition. Generous men 
are these when they have anything to give ! Again the regi- 
ment goes out to the picket-line on the 25th. General Gill 
more is much in evidence and all of his looking seems to be 
towards Charleston and men are thinking that he will soon 
try his hand there. Further fortifying on the island is 
stopped. From his picket-post Colonel Osborn writes on the 
29th his very last from Seabrook : 

We are up in the woods on picket, away from the invigor- 
ating sea-breezes and weighed down by that fearful lassitude 
which is so characteristic of this climate. The slightest ef- 
fort becomes a mighty task. I do not wonder that the South- 
erners are idle, lazy and overbearing. Such curses .as this 
climate and the Peculiar Institution would deprave the angels 
in two generations. Fortunately we have no heavy work in 
the way of marching to do just now, for my men would melt 
away under it. A large number were made sick by only 
marching four miles the other day. They take their turn in 
working, once in three days, on the fortifications, but the 

200 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

work is going on very slowly now, the engineer being satisfied 
with very small day's labor. General Gillmore seems to be 
a live man and is making active preparations on Folly Island 
to attack Morris Island and is building batteries, etc., for 
that purpose. * * if Charleston is captured I hope our 
regiment will have a hand in it. * * It' is fair to suppose 
that Gillmore will not forget us if he has any work to do. His 
Inspector General, who has very thoroughly inspected all the 
troops in the department, and to whom he would naturally 
look for information as to the value of the different regiments, 
said the other day of his own accord that the Twenty-fourth 
was the best volunteer regiment he had ever seen and that 
he had never seen any regTilars that were better. 

After having been without a chaplain for five months we 
have at length elected one whom we have reason to believe 
will accept the appointment and I have forwarded his papers 
to the State House. He is the Rev. Geo. D. Wildes of Salem, 
chaplain of the New England Guards, who delivered the ad- 
dress before the semi-centennial celebration of the corps last 

Unfortunately the clergyman did not accept and his name 
appears on the State House rolls under the Chaplain head- 
ing, followed by the word "Declined." 

Julj' enters with the regiment still on picket, from which 
it was relieved on the 2d by the Ninety-seventh Pennsylva- 
nia, and once more returned to camp. Of the 4th, the 
National Day, little account was made. Perhaps it was too 
hot; southern people usually make Fourth of July noises 
at Christmas time ; they have not ambition enough to observe 
the day itself. However, there was a salute at noon 
by the monitors and the light artillery. General Stevenson 
kept open house at his quarters and the officers dropped in 
to exchange greetings and to sip the contents of a punch 
bowl, on whose lending good Dr. Holmes once wrote : 

I tell you, there was generous warmth in good old English cheer; 
I tell you, 'twas a pleasant tlniught to Ijring its symliol here. 

Besides, there was a trial of musical skill among Drum- 
mers Alden of I, Crowley of C and Akerman of K, the prize 

July 8, 'G3. Toward Charleston. 201 

being the position of dnim-sergeant. The victory was won 
by the Company C representative. Sunday, the 5th, was a 
pleasant day. with company inspections and dress parade. 
Had the men realized that it was their last Sunday on 
the island, possibly they might have enjoyed it more. 
Monday the Twenty-fourth, the Tenth Connecticut and the 
Fifty-sixth New York had a brigade drill at 5 p.m. 
by General Stevenson. After all had turned in for 
the night, there arrived an order for the cooking of 
four days' rations, as six of the companies were to depart. 
Later two days' rations were distributed to each man. At 8 
p.m. the steamer ^Mayflower came in, and at 1 a.m. of the 7th 
she got under way Avith Companies A, B, D, G, H and K, leav- 
ing the other four under the command of Lieut. -Colonel Ste- 
venson. Hilton Head Avas reached at 8 o'clock in the morning, 
and the troops were ordered to disembark on St. Helena 
Island, which they did, marching to their old camping-ground, 
meanwhile the steamer taking on coal and water. At 3 p.m. 
the men went on iDoard again and the vessel ran over to Hilton 
Head. Once more she comes back to the island, where the 
men are to pass the night. If officers only knew what an hour 
might bring forth, how many false motions might be saved. 
The enlisted men found quarters in some houses and sheds 
still standing, while the officers passed the night in the tents 
of the 9th ]\Iaine. which were still pitched, the regiment hav- 
ing gone to Folly Island. Again on shipboard, the oMayflower 
with her Massachusetts soldiers got oft' at 1 p.m. of the 8th, 
reaching Stono Inlet at 9 o'clock, but could not get in, as the 
buoys were not lighted and no pilot came out. There were six 
or eight other steamers in the same plight as the ]Mayflower, 
and all had to stand oft' and on till 12.30 of the 9th, when our 
vessel entered, in the midst of a heavy shower, which made 
the air so thick one could scarcely see a boat's length. At 5 
o'clock, General Ferry, with the brigades of Stevenson, Davis 
and Montgomery, steamed up the Stono River, preceded by 
gunboats, shelling the woods, anchoring finally at James' 

202 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

5 ST- -SXtv 


L. rf- iil/i^ sluir,t,r.r -fi- 

July '63. Charleston. 203 

Island. In leaving' Seabrook. the men took only rubber blan- 
kets and shelter tents. Their camp-tents Avere left standing 
with all baggage, commissary and qnartermaster stores. With 
the four companies there were left a battery of six guns and 
about 400 sick from all the regiments. 


Early in the morning of the 10th. the regiment was landed, 
moving about one mile up the island, bivouacking along with 
the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania and the Tenth Connecticut. 
The scenery was magnificent, and all were fired with the 
thought of real activity. A mile further on, certain of the 
officers, from the top of a house, were able to see Forts Sum- 
ter, Moultrie and Cummiugs' Point Battery, all of which were 
firing. There was every indication of something doing, and 
early in the day came the announcement that the batteries on 
Morris Island had been captured and that our forces had 
crossed over. This same day also brought the glad news that 
Grant and his men had captured Yicksburg and that the 
advance of Lee and his Confederates had been stayed at Get- 
tysburg. Surely the army in front of Charleston had every 
reason to rejoice, even if the temperature was high and the 
mosquitoes abundant. 

General Gillmore was not an officer to rest on his laurels, 
but he pushed right forward, taking vigorous measures to 
invest Fort Wagner, whose fall insured that of Sumter also. 
The troops now are on the very ground where the army of 
the preceding year encamped, previous to the losing battle 
on James' Island. The pickets are within range of the guns 
in Tower Battery in Secessionville, but they are not fired on. 
The 11th there was an advance of about one mile for the 
purpose of making a feint on Secessionville, to prevent any 
attempt at reinforcing Morris Island. Things are so irreg- 
ular that the usual rations of coffee are not had, and soldiers 
record their complaints. At 6 p.m. of the 12th, the regiment 
relieves the Tenth Connecticut on the picket-line. Heavj- rain, 

204 Twenty-fourth i\lASSACHusETTS Kegiment. 

with lightning-, added to the variety on the 13th, and at 5 
p.m. came the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania to relieve the men 
on picket. After dark the brigade moves back about one mile. 
The next day the horses that had been left at "Seabrook 
arrived, and also ]\Iajor Hooper returned from his leave of 
absence, considerably extended on account of illness. 

There is none of the routine of Seabrook here, since con- 
stant vigilance is the rule, and on the report that the enemy 
is advancing, the regiment fell in and stood in line an hour 
and a half, this in the afternoon. It was 4.15 the next morn- 
ing (16th) that the camp was aroused by heavy artillery 
firing on the left, and the orders were to fall in. The rebels 
had brought down a light battery and attacked the gunboat 
Pawnee in Stono River. Soon after getting in line the first 
shell burst over it. Our own gunboats and batteries reply- 
ing, made a cheerful salute to the morning, and the reply was 
so vigorous that the enemy soon withdrew. They were not 
followed. Shells burst near the hospitals and Corporal Al- 
fred Friend of Company B was fatally wounded, dying the 
next day. The Tenth Connecticut and the Fifty-fourth Mas- 
sachusetts were on picket, the former coming very near being 
captured and the latter, if it had not stood up well, would 
have been cut otf. After the dismissal of the line at 7 o'clock 
the Twenty-fourth was ordered on the picket-line. The same 
was shortened and strengthened and orders were given that 
no one should sleep at night. 

July 17, 1 a.m., orders were received to withdraw the out- 
posts quietly, as the island was to be evacuated during the 
night. Captain Richardson on the left was thus directed and 
Colonel Osborn started for Captain Redding on the right, but 
lost his way and wandered about for some time. By dint 
of whistling and shouting he finally recovered himself and 
the regiment was assembled at the causeway, all but four 
men of Company K, who could not be found. IMarching to 
the house where the first bivouac was made, the regiment 
reported to General Stevenson. All of the troops had crossed 

July 18, '63. Fort Wagner. 205 

over Cole's Island except Stevenson's brigade, and that was 
embarking on transports. The Twenty-fourth withdrew to a 
oridge near the landing. Avhieh was destroyed after onr cross- 
ing, placed pickets there and acted as a rear guard. As the 
four men of K Company had now come in, the command was 
complete, it being about 6 o'clock. Boarding the steamer 
Alice Price at 10.30, a start was made for Folly Island. Left 
there at 5 p.m. for Lighthouse Inlet and finally disembarked 
on ^Morris Island. 

The IStli day of July, Saturday, is a sad one in the annals 
of many a regiment, and St. Gaudens' wonderful memorial to 
Robert Gould Shaw and his men on Boston Common will 
long recall the deeds of ^Massachusetts' Fiftj'-fourth in this 
effort to capture Fort Wagner. The Twenty-fourth did not 
reach the scene of slaughter on that day ; its trial was to come 
later, but it was in reserve and was ready to advance when- 
ever ordered. The part borne by our regiment is best told by 
its Colonel in one of his letters home : 

At 5 p.m. all the troops were ordered to fall in and to 
advance to the attack of Fort Wagner, which we had been 
shelling all day. We formed and marched slowly up the 
beach, our brigade being in the rear as a reserve. Just after 
dark. Strong's brigade made an assault, but was repulsed with 
heavy loss. Putnam's brigade then made an attempt, with 
the same result. All this time the shells from Forts Wagner 
and Sumter were exploding all around us, but fortunately 
no one was hurt. How we escaped some loss is a matter of the 
greatest wonder. When the Second Brigade fell back, ours 
advanced to the breastwork to cover their retreat. After we 
had been there an hour or so, a report was brought that some 
of our men under Colonel Putnam had gained a foothold in 
the fort, and were holding one bastion and only needed re- 
inforcements to capture the fort. The Twenty-fourth was 
immediately ordered fonvard, with the Third New Hamp- 
shire, Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania and Tenth Connecticut 
following. I had then about 125 men. We got within 100 
yards of the fort, when we met an officer returning with some 
men, who said that Colonel Putnam had been killed, and that 
Major Butler, who had succeeded to the command, had 

206 Twenty-fourth ]\Iassachusetts Regiment. 

ordered a retreat. There was no use in going on, so General 
Stevenson ordered ns to fall back. The men marched up and 
back, stood in line of battle and manoeuvred, all the while 
under fire, as coolly as if upon drill. I afterwards found out 
that the place where Putnam was, was not the main body of 
the fort, but only an outwork, and had we joined him and 
endeavored to enter the fort we should undoubtedly have 
been driven back with great slaughter. The loss in the tight 
is estimated at 1200 killed, wounded and missing. We re- 
mained at the breastworks all night, occasionally receiving a 
shell from Sumter. At daylight of the 19th, we withdrew 
a short distance behind an earthwork, thrown up for the pro- 
tection of the infantry forces. There was no firing from 
either side, both being engaged in collecting the wounded and 
burying the dead. After dark we withdrew to the lower part 
of the island, being relieved by another (Howell's) brigade. 

Firing re-begins on the 20th from our siege-gi\ns and moni- 
tors. Fort Wagner making only feeble replies. The 21st 
brought Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson and the companies that 
had remained on Seabrook Island, they being much fatigued 
and reduced by sickness. The next day Lieutenant-Colonel 
Stevenson, Lieutenants Ward and Clough, with Privates Geo. 
L. Gardner of Company E, and Wm. Reynolds of Company I, 
were designated to return to ^Massachusetts to bring out men 
who had been drafted. Also the paymaster made his way to 
the camp and gladdened the hearts of the men with two 
months' pay. jMean while the works against the forts are 
pushed steadily forward. On the 23d, the men selected to 
visit ^Massachusetts, except Lieutenant Ward, started, going 
on board the Arago, which stopped for them outside the bar. 
Of the regiment's new location Colonel Osborn says: 

IMorris Island is long and narrow, and is held by the Union 
forces on the south and by the Confederates on the north. 
The western side is a marsh, while the eastern or seaside is a 
succession of sand hills, thrown together in the utmost confu- 
sion, and looking like the waves of the sea on a magnificent 
scale. This strip is only about half a mile wide, and all the 
troops have to be encamped on these billows, so that to look 

July '63. IMorris Island. 207 

at the tents almost makes one seasick. Next the marsh is a 
narrow flat, then an enormous ridge, beyond a valley tilled 
with little hillocks, then a smaller ridge, after which the beach. 
Between this mannnoth ridge and the beach are onr tents. 
]\Iine is on a little mound on the edge of the beach, and looks 
out upon the harbor in full view of the blockading fleet and 
the ironclads. The surf is excellent, and I take an early bath, 
for all the troops stand to arms from 3.30 to 5 a.m., between 
which and breakfast there is an hour unoccupied. The sand 
hills cease at our works and the land beyond is perfectly flat, 
being mostly marsh, except a small strip next the beach, 
where we made the attack. There are no trees, and scarcely 
a bush on the island, and we have great trouble to get fuel, 
which has to he ])rought from Folly Island. There is no 
shade, and the power of the sun is terrific. Under that and 
the heav;^" work the men are sickening rapidly. I have 250 
sick and 275 well. Think of that for a regiment that has 
always been so healthy ! The soil is the finest of fi^^e s-jrid-^. 
and continually fills the air. It covers everything and pene- 
trates everywhere. We eat and drink it in quantities. No 
idea can be formed of its annoyance except from experience. 
I think this is the meanest place I was ever in without excep- 
tion, but we are all gay and we are bound for Charleston. 

On the 25th Private C. P. Lufkins of Company C was 
fatally injured in the spine by a ball, which entered the 
breastwork, behind which he was. He died Aug. 1st. Not- 
withstanding oppressive heat and vexatious sand there are 
inspections and dress-parades. Picket duty is frequent and, 
as a preventive of malarial efifects, whiskey is issued to those 
on duty. All of the mentioned besetments of the locality do 
not keep the sutler away, and on the last day of July he 
appears and opens shop. 

August finds the regiment still warring in front of Wag- 
ner. No one complains of lack of excitement, for every one 
is learning what it must be to dwell on or near the sides of a 
volcano. One man declared that the constant cannonading 
makes so much noise that he cannot hear the orders read at 
dress-parade. The second day brings back Lieutenant Ed- 
mands from Newbern and with him twenty convalescents, 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

welcome additions. Of the officers who came up from Sea- 
brook all are sick except Lieutenant Wheeler, and the compa- 
nies themselves. C, E, F and I, left there July 7 because they 
were then the largest, averaging 65 men each, are now the 
smallest, as they now number or average only ten men each. 
Large reinforcements are arriving, the trenches are steadily 

By kindness Capt. Daniel Eldredge, 3d N. II. 

pushed forward toward the enemy, and heavy guns and 
mortars are carried to the front and mounted every night. 
On the 5th of the month there were over 300 sick in the 
Twenty-fourth, and 250 well enough for duty. Very early 
in the morning of the 5th, Captain Eedding, with Companies 
A and G, was sent to the front to support an outpost, near 
which Capt. L. S. Payne of the One Hundredth New York 
with his boat party had been captured. 

July '63. Morris Island. 209 

There is ahvays fatigue duty and vigorous men are at a 
premium. One of them records his helping unload cargoes of 
shells by the thousand, and his labors in getting ten-inch mor- 
tars ashore. Owing to recent hard work the regiment is 
excused from turning out at 3.30 on the morning of the 8th, 
and orders are received that no one should send by letter or 
otherwise any information which might contribute to the 
enemy's knowledge of what was doing on the Union side. In 
the matter of supporting the physical man, the scarcity of 
fuel is noted and men take whatever they can find, in one case 
appropriating the hard pine used in planking for one of the 
heavy guns. Of couree, the theft was discovered, and what 
was left of the piece was carried back, but the fagot-takers 
breathed easier when no further investigation was made. 
The first watermelon, "cool and delicious," is recorded on the 
8th, and most delightful sea-bathing is some compensation 
for excessive heat. 

Apprehensions of an attack by the Confederates brought 
the regiment under arms soon after 2 o'clock in the morning 
of the 10th. The brigade marched to the beach and lay a 
short distance back of the first parallel. Nothing further 
happening, all returned at 6 a.m. On the 17th the Union bat- 
teries and ironclads opened on Sumter, which remained silent. 
Forts Wagner and Oregg also failed to reply; the only return 
firing came from the batteries on James' Island. During the 
day an old friend of the ol^cers in the Twenty-fourth was 
killed. Captain George W. Eodgers of the Catskill, who 
with them had exchanged so many civilities at Seabrook, lost 
his life through a shot striking the top of the pilot house, 
thereby loosening a bolt which struck the officer in the head, 
inflicting a mortal wound. The flags on the monitors were at 
half-mast during the afternoon.* 

*Son, nephew, brother and cousin of distinguished naval officers of the 

name of Kodgers, besides being a nephew of both Commodores Perry, 

through his mother, George Washington Eodgers had a right to hold a 

prominent place in the sea service of the nation, and he deserved well 


210 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

On this same day Lieutenaut-Colonel Stevenson writes from 
Boston to Colonel Osborn as to the trials he is having in try- 
ing to secure recruits for the regiment : " I am of the opinion 
that we shall not get a single man out of this draft, but I pre- 
sume another one will be ordered. General Devens' orders 
are to give two hundred men to each ^Massachusetts regiment 
in the Army of the Potomac first, and then to fill up to the 
number specified on the list. To do this it will take about 
7000 men, and there is no telling what department will be 
filled up next. As conscripts do not come in faster than 
seventy-five per day, you see it is going to take a long time to 
fill the Army of the Potomac. * * I am very anxious to 
be relieved and ordered to rejoin the regiment, so if you will 
do anything for me in this respect I shall be exceedingly 

The next day, the 18th, Lieut. Chas. G. Ward, also on 
detached service, writes in a similar vein from Boston: "I 
think it is going to be a long time before the men are assigned 
to the Twenty-fourth, from what Mr. Stevenson (General Ste- 
venson's father) says, and I shall prefer returning to Morris 
Island, where I know I can be of service, rather than serve the 
State of IMassachusetts by guarding conscripts on Long 

One day differed very little from another on ^lorris Island, 
only now and then a larger gun than its neighbors is put in 
position, and then its eft'ects are watched as it plays upon the 
enemy's works. On the 19th, the 300-pound Parrott, over 
which so much muscle has been exercised, is got into position 
and great results are expected, and one observer reports that 

for his own sake. The soul of honor, a blameless, Christian gentleman, 
his sudden taking off was a severe blow to the cause he loved. His death 
drew from Colonel Charles G. Halpine, the "Miles O'Reilly" of the 
press, the following stanza : 

Ah me ! George Rodgers lies 
With dim and dreamless eyes, 
He has airly won the prize 
Of the sthriped and starry crown. 

Aug. 26, '63. Charge ox the Kifle-pits. 


she rrade a big breach in Sumter, and then during- the even- 
ing of 'the 23d burst about 18 inches from the muzzle. On 
the 21st came Dr. Wm. S. Tremain to take the place of As- 
sistant-Surgeon Hall Curtis, who had resigned, June 18th, 
for the surgeoncy of the Thirty-third Eegiment. During these 
days, of course, the men are doing almost constant duty on 
picket, in the trenches or policing their camps. No one is 
getting any great amount of rest, and so the davs of routine 


and expectancy passed till Aug. 26tli, when, at dinner. Colonel 
Osborn was summoned to the quarters of General Alfred H. 
Terry, who told the Colonel that he wished the Twenty-fourth 
Regiment to drive the enemy's pickets out of certain rifle-pits 
that they occupied about seventy-five yards in advance of our 
fourth parallel. As for the incident itself, let the command- 
ing officer speak for himself : 

Our lines had been pushed forward towards Port 
Wagner by regular approaches until they arrived with- 

212 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

in seventy-five yards of the gentle elevation sloping 
equally towards us and the rebels, on the further 
side of which the enemy had dug rifle-pits and 
ensconced sharpshooters, who annoyed our troops and inter- 
fered with the progress of the work. It was necessary to dis- 
lodge them before proceeding further, and it was attempted 
with artillery with no success, as they were lying in deep 
holes just behind the crest of the ridge, which protected them 
from the shot. It was determined to do it by assault. Gen- 
eral Terry sent for me, told me what had been decided and 
said that my regiment was to do it. He then instructed that 
I was to take the regiment very secretly up to our most ad- 
vanced lines, and, at a given signal, was to rush over the 
breastworks and charge upon the enemj^ with all my men, 
except seventy-five (Companies F and K), who were to 
remain behind with two shovels each. I explained to the 
ofticers the nature of the work we were to undertake, and told 
them to tell the men that I should require a fierce, impetuous 
charge, which would accomplish the end most surely, and with 
the least cost of life. We then marched up and took our posi- 
tions, all sitting down, concealed behind the breastwork. 
When all was ready, I saw a flag waving in the rear which 
was the signal to charge. I cried, "All up," when every man 
stood up and faced the enemy. "Forward," and in an 
instant we were over the works and rushing upon the enemy 
at the top of our speed, shouting like mad. They fired but 
one volley, and then those who dared to take the chance of 
being fired at by us leaped out of their holes and ran. The 
rest crouched down and surrendered. 

In the first pit I looked into, which was a large, deep 
square hole, I saw eight men sitting, one of them waving 
above his head an old red handkerchief in token of his having 
relinquished all hostile intentions. We disarmed them and 
sent to the rear, collecting seventy in all, less than twenty 
having escaped. As soon as we had gained possession of the 
ridge I called up the shovels and we commenced throwing up 
a line of defense on our side of the crest. As Fort Wagner 
began to throw canister and spherical case at us about that 
time, everj^ man dug for his life and a very substantial 
earthwork soon rose. For a while our position was a pretty 
hot one, for besides Fort Wagner, Fort Gregg and the bat- 
teries on James' Island, all opened on us and got our range 
with gi^eat accuracy. I really cannot see how it is possible for 

Aug. 26, '63. Charge on the Rifle-pits. 213 

shot to come so and do so little damage. Our loss, barring' 
scratches, was only one officer and two men killed, and four 
men wounded. I expected to suffer much more heavily. 
Lieut. James A. Perkins of Company I, who was killed, was 
a splendid fellow, brave to rashness, and a most excellent 
officer. He was a favorite with all of us, and his death cast 
a shade of S'loom over the exultation we felt at our success. 
We made the charge at 6 p.m., and remained on the ground 
till midnight, most of the time in a pouring rain, when we 
were relieved by another regiment and returned to camp. I 
immediately reported to General Terry, and received the most 
flattering compliments on the behavior of the regiment. He 
said it Avas a most brilliant and dashing affair, and seemed 
hardly able to say enough in praise of it. * * Sumter is 
a mass of ruins and is occui)ied by only forty men. 

Another story of the charge is told in most graphic manner 
by one who appreciatively sees the men go in : 

For some time General Gillmore has been making all sorts 
of attempts to get hold of- the rifle-pits in front of Wagner, 
and very close to our own batteries. He has cleared them out 
several times with artillery, but has never succeeded in hold- 
ing them, in consequence of the enemy's being so careless about 
throwing grape and canister around. Well, yesterday, the 
brave and undaunted TM'enty-fourth ^Massachusetts, the best 
regiment here, and without doubt the best in the service, vol- 
unteered to make a charge of it. General Stevenson, although 
it was not his day in front, of course felt a great anxiety that 
his old regiment should go through well and, consequently, 
went to the front to see it. He gave us an invitation to go 
with him, so we mounted our steeds and started for the scene 
of action. Arriving at the front we saw the boys drawn up 
in line behind our own rifle-pits. I knew the whole rank 
and file of the regiment, and as I saw them drawn up for a 
charge I could not help feeling a little kind of stickling about 
the throat, for it was a desperate thing and I knew that the 
boys were determined and would not falter in their purpose, 
if they were annihilated. All this time our batteries were 
playing lively on Gregg and Wagner. At 4.30 our 200- 
pounder on the left exploded, wounding four men. About 
•4.-15 the rebels saw that something was up, and they opened 
very lively. * * When Terry came up and ordered the 

214 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Aug. '63. Fort Wagner. 215 

charge, I forgot all about shot, shell and everything else 
except the charge. The Twenty-foiirth forms behind the 
trenches, Colonel Osborn waves his sword, and with a hearty 
cheer our brave Massachusetts boys start on the double quick. 
Crack ! crack I crack ! quicker than thought go three vol- 
leys of musketry, away come grape and canister from Wagner 
and Gregg. ' ' Steady, boys, steady ! ' ' cries out Terry. Not a 
stagger, not a line broken, but as true as God' s my judge, 
those men go on as steady as though they were on dress- 
parade. The smoke has cleared away, they are in the 
trenches. Osborn waves his sword and with a victorious yell 
they leap into the rebel rifle-pits, while the skedaddling 
rebels are making up the bank on the double quick. Our 
point is gained and Osborn holds the works. The trench- 
guard is ordered up to support him. Helloa ! What is this ? 
Here come twenty-four rebels and a rebel lieutenant, whom 
our boys have brought out of the ditches with them. I tell 
you, if you could have seen that charge, under such a murder- 
ous fire, you would be willing to be sent into the other world 
during the excitement, without a murmur. * * Terry was 
perfectly delighted with the whole thing, and pronounced it 
the most brilliant dash and the best executed he ever saw, and 
your humble servant felt as if he wanted to shake hands with 
everybody he met. I was so delighted to see old ]\Iassachu- 
setts go in so nobly! The men of the Twenty-fourth immor- 
talized themselves in that charge * * and if you could 
onl}^ have seen it you would have grown an inch for being a 
son of the Old Bay State. On our route down we called in 
to see General Gillmore, and I declare I never saw a man who 
seemed so well pleased as he did. He rubbed his hands, and 
said, "By Jove, that is splendid. Just what I wanted," etc. 
We are now within 150 yards of Wagner. 

HoAv the Confederates regarded the affair is learned in an 
extract from a paper on the siege read by Col. Charles S. 01m- 
stead of the Confederate Army before the Georgia Historical 
Society March 3d, 1879 : 

The line of rifle-pits in front of Wagner had been gallantly 
held by our men during the siege, and had sorely troubled the 
besiegers. On the 21st of August an infantry force attempted 
the capture of these pits without success. On the afternoon 
of the 26th, a heavy artillery fire was brought to bear upon 

216 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regimext. 

them without dislodging the holders, Init that night a dashing 
charge of the Twenty-fourth IMassaehusetts Regiment gained 
the position, capturing the most of the Confederates who 
held them, about seventy men. General Gillmore's fifth and 
last parallel was at once established on the ground thus won, 
and before dawn on the 27th, under cover of the flying sap, 
the trenches were pushed about 100 yards nearer the fort. 

If the enemy were familiar with the beautiful lines of Robert 
Lowell, with which he opened his famous "Relief of Luck- 
now," very likely some of them might be heard repeating: 

Oh , those last days in Wagner Fort ! 

We knew they were the last ; 
That the enemy's mines had crept surely in, 

And the end was coming fast. 

The event of the 26th should not be dismissed without some 
reference to what the men in the ranks thought of it. how it 
looked to them. Says one of them : 

After cleaning up this afternoon I had a few minutes of 
leisure time, so I went over the bluff to see some men in the 
Sixty-seventh Ohio. On my way back I met certain fellows 
who wanted to know where the regiment had gone, and when 
I replied, "Nowhere," they said, "Yes, it has, and has been 
gone more than a quarter of an hour." I ran back to my 
tent, put on my equipments, filled my canteen with water, 
grabbed my rifle and started to find the regiment. I found 
them out on the beach and having twenty rounds of cart- 
ridges given out. I got ten rounds and a place in the ranks. 
Lieutenant Perkins was in command of the company, and it 
was surmised that we were to charge on Fort Wagner. When 
the signal was given to advance, the waving of a white hand- 
kerchief, the guns that had been firing on the forts suddenly 
stopped firing, and, in less time than I can write it, we were 
over the works, charging on the rebel rifle-pits and capturing 
the men who occupied them. It was done so quickly that the 
enemy could fire but one volley, and from Fort Wagner there 
came only one round of shell. Then the shovels came up and 
our men dug for dear life and threw up a breastwork right on 
the embankment the rebels had thrown up. All this time 
Fort Wagner was firing grape and canister at us, but we could 

Aug. '63. Fort ^YAGNER. 217 

see the flash of their gvms and would fall on onr faces. Lieu- 
tenant Perkins was killed after we took the works. 

I blistered my hands shovelino'.and one man who had along- 
handled shovel, in drawing back to throw up a shovelful, was 
rather careless and hit me on the eye with such force as to 
knock me senseless for a minute. I thought that I was .shot, 
but I soon got over it and went to work. After we had got up 
a good shelter, about six feet high, I went to work firing at the 
batteries in Fort Wagner, trying to keep them from firing so 
often on our men. I didn't think to look into the pits, but 
kept firing at Wagner. There was a pit beyond the one 
against which I was lying. al)out twelve feet from me and 
right in my range. About half an hour after, I had begun 
firing, and I was taking aim, when a head popped up from the 
second pit. I thought it was one of our own men and I spoke 
rather sharp, telling him to keep down, for I Avas firing right 
over where he was. I fired and loaded again, when a white 
cloth on the end of a stick appeared above the pit. I called 
out, telling him to come in, that no one would hurt him. At 
this four rebels jumped out of that pit, and four more out of 
the one nearest me, and came running in. It rather startled 
me to find that I had been lying so near the enemy and not 
know it. Soon I heard some one groan in another pit, and 
when I called out a voice said, ' ' I wish you would come and 
bring me some water.'' I made sure that he was alone and 
that there was no danger of my being taken prisoner, and 
then crept out to him and gave him a drink. He was badly 
shot through the thigh, the ball passing out through the groin. 
I placed him in a better position and comforted him the best I 
knew how. He seemed to worry about his children in of 
hi.s death as to what would become of them. I told him that the 
All-protecting Power would care for them. He seemed to 
be much affected and said that he did not expect me to care 
for him. I told him that our men would take him out before 
morning. Soon it began to rain and we got a good drenching. 
Then came the relief and we got back to camp at about one 
o 'clock in the morning. 

Private Bullard of Company G writes from Cleveland, 
Tenn., "It commenced to rain about dark and we heard some 
one moan outside the works, so Orderly Sergeant White told 
]^Iichael ]McGraw and myself to jump over the works and see 


Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Eegiment. 

who was hurt out in the front. We fcnind a wounded relx and 
when we brought him in he said, "Lay me up close, boys;" he 
had no use for the bullets from his own side. Those were 
strenuous moments when the Yankees reached the rifle-pits of 
the enemy, and the Johnny who did not at once throw down 
his gun need expect little mercy at the hands of the attacking 
party. ]\Ien of Company I relate how they threw up John 
Connor's weapon as he was aiming at a rebel, upbraiding him 
for his attempt on the life of a surrendered man, ' ' And sure, ' ' 


says John, "wasn't the t'ief aimin' at my Captain 
(Amory) ?" who was one of the first to leap into the pit. 

One of the shoveling party has left an excellent impression 
of the fray, written at the time, and from it the following 
lines are taken : 

Our First Lieutenant, always anxious for a fight, formed 
the company out on the beach, and as soon as we were formed 
he told us what he wanted of us. and added if any man wanted 
to step out, now was his time. I am sorry to say that one man 
stepped out ; you can have an idea of the hazing the men gave 
him as he walked to his tent. Companies F and K were 
ordered to take two shovels to each man, which we received 

Aug. '63. Fort Wagner. 219 

on reacliing- the trenches, besides our guns. * * The eight 
companies were formed next to the breastwork, and the two 
companies with shovels just in the rear. Every man stood 
with fixed bayonet and we did not have long to wait before the 
signal was given. Avhen we charged right over and into the 
rifle-pits, where the rebs were so taken by surprise that they 
yelled out, "Don't shoot: we surrender," etc. "While the 
eight companies were attending to the rebels we, the other 
two companies, went to digging to reverse the rebel works for 
our own protection, and never did men shovel dirt livelier, 
since Wagner had got to work with grape and canister, which 
fortunately passed over us, it being difficult to depress the 
guns to our level. * * The rebels in the pits were com- 
posed of one company of the Sixty-first North Carolina Regi- 
ment : their captain and two or three privates had escaped. 
We came on them so suddenly that tliey had no time to reload. 
The rebels lost four killed, eight wounded and sixtj'-eight 
taken prisoners. The Ifitter were escorted to the rear and 
were fed on hardtack at the Provost Guard's headquarters. 
It was about half -past nine when we got through turning the 
rifle-pits, and in the meantime another regiment was trench- 
ing out to us, so that when the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania came 
out to relieve us, we had a covered way to pass to the rear in. 
While passing other regiments on our way to camp we 
received all sorts of congratulations, such as are familiar to 

In his Journal of Engineer Operations on ^Morris Island 
]\Ia.ior Thos. B. Brooks has the following for August 26th : 

The general commanding ordered General Terry to take 
and hold the ridge, and placed the resources of the command 
at his disposal for that purpose. It was accomplished at 
6.30 p.m. by a brilliant charge of the Twenty-fourth ^lassa- 
chusetts Volunteers, Col. Francis A. Osborn commanding, 
supported by the Third New Hampshire, Captain Randlett 
commanding. Sixty-seven prisoners Avere captured. They 
were afraid to retire on account of their own torpedoes, as 
they informed us, and had too little time, even if there had 
been no torpedoes. No works, excepting rude rifle-pits in the 
excellent natural cover afforded by the ridge, were found. 
Sand-bags of a superior quality had been freely used for loop- 
holes and traverses. 

220 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

The moment the riclge was gained the work of intrenching 
was begun under the superintendence of Capt. Jos. Walker 
(of the Volunteer Engineers). The fifth parallel was opened 
from the sea to the marsh, a distance of 140 yards, advantage 
being taken of the enemy's pits on the left, and cover was 
rapidly obtained, under the stimulus of a severe grape and 
shell fire from Wagner. The right of the parallel is 245 yards 
from the fort. In this work the Twenty-fourth proved them- 
selves as proficient in the use of the shovel as they had in that 
of the bayonet a few moments before. From the right of this 
line an approach was at once opened by the flying- sap. This 
was extended to the marsh, and later in the night the sap was 
continued to the beach, within 100 yards of the fort, by a sec- 
ond line running near the edge of the marsh. 

The thickly placed torpedoes in front of Wagner occasion 
the following also from Major Brooks: "The discovery of 
these torpedoes explains what has been to me one of the great- 
est mysteries in the defense of Wagner, i. e., the fact that no 
material obstacle of any amount could be discovered in front 
of the work, not even after our two almost successful assaults. 
Torpedoes were the substitutes.'" 

The works thrown up so hurriedly on the 26tli formed the 
foundation of the fifth and last parallel in the approaches to 
Wagner. The remainder of the month passed with nothing 
of note so far as our regiment was concerned. There was no 
abatement of work. There always was an abundance of that. 
On the 27th there were funeral services over the bodies of the 
dead, and that of Lieutenant Perkins was sent to Hilton Head 
in care of Lieutenant Sargent and four men, thence to be 
accompanied to Boston by Sergeant John C. Turner of Com- 
pany I. The record for the last day of the month, like that 
for the first, was ' ' Heavy firing. ' ' 

AVhile it may not relieve the discomforts of those days it 
will prove a source of pleasure to know that our enemies were 
quite as uncomfortable as ourselves. In the story of the 
Sixty-first North Carolina, the one whose men were captured 
in the rifle-pits, we may read as follows : 

Going from Savannah to James' Island, S. C, was about 

Sept. '63. Fort Wagner. 221 

what I would imagine, with my limited knowledge of the two 
localities, very much the same as dropping out of paradise 
into hell. We found James' Island a little Sahara, having 
plenty of wind, rolling and twisting clouds of sand, millions 
of black gnats, much greater pests than mosquitoes, and a 
very scanty supply of devilish poor beef that a respectable 
Charleston buzzard would not eat. We had to sink holes 
here, there and everywhere to get a supply of tadpole water — 
at the same time there being a well of good water at Fort 
Pemberton, which no Tar Heel was allowed to sample. * * 
From James' Island we went to Sullivan's, date not remem- 
bered, but the change w-as gladly welcomed by all. We were 
willing to go anywhere to get away from James' Island. 
While quartei-ed on Sullivan's Island our regiment did its 
full share of duty in the defense of ]\Iorris Island. During the 
four years of my experience in the army I found no place so 
uninviting as Battery Wagner on Morris Island. The bomb- 
proof, the only place of safety, cannot well be described, for 
all its dreary loathsomeness and horrors, and I will not 
attempt it. 

September starts off not unlike the immediately preceding 
months. The nights resound with heavy artillery firing, the 
batteries on Sullivan's Island sending their compliments to the 
Union camps, and the monitors offering iron greetings to Fort 
Sumter, just the regular order of events in this limited por- 
tion of the world. The second day of the month Colonel 
Osborn was Brigade Field Oificer of the day. At night Cap- 
tain Redding, with Company A, and Captain Maker, with 
K Company, were sent on a boat expedition with Major 0. S. 
Sanford, Seventh Connecticut, in command. Captain Red- 
ding and men landed at a wharf near the harbor, while Cap- 
tain ]\Iaker went out nearly to Sumter, in neither case meeting 
the enemy. It was on this day that the men beheld a bit of 
military discipline in the camp of the Fifty-fifth ^lassachu- 
setts. A culprit, with one-half of his head shaved, and bear- 
ing on his back a board inscribed "He stole money from his 
wounded friend, ' ' accompanied by a drum corps, was marched 
up and down j\Iorris Island and then went over to Folly, a 
proper ending for such a wretched beginning. All of the 

222 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

regiment, except A and K, went on picket where the Swamp 
Angel is mounted. The latter is a 200-pound Parrott, 
mounted after infinite labor and fated to be one of the notable 
features of the siege. Its location is the nearest point to 
Charleston in our possession, yet the city is not visible from it. 
The range and distance are determined mathematically and 
with sufficient accuracy to hit St. Michael's Church several 
times. General Beauregard protested, under a flag of truce, 




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against the use of such offense, and the British Consul 
demanded a cessation of firing on her majesty's subjects. 

Its situation wdth reference to the camps of the supporting 
troops is set forth by one of the note takers as follows : " It is 
in a swamp about a mile and a half from our left batteries, 
and on the edge of a creek running from Lighthouse Inlet 
into Charleston Harbor, and is approached either by boats or 
on land." By the latter way there are planks laid, tandem, 
on posts, and on this w^alk, single file, troops must proceed to 
the battery. Many boats were retained in this creek for the 
purpose of making expeditions into the harbor. Late in the 

Sept. 7. '63. Fort Wagner. 223 

night of the 5th, such a trip was started under the command 
of Major Sanford of the Seventh Connecticut to attack Bat- 
tery Gregg in the rear. Owing to the remissness of the oars- 
men, or other reason, the men returned w^ithout landing. 
There were no men of the Twenty-fourth in the party. Com- 
ing back to camp in the early morning of the 6th the walking 
is better than it was going out, when, in the misty darkness, 
a number of the men slipped off from the planks into the 

On this 6th of September the final assault on Wagner is 
considered. All of the colonels of regiments are called 
together to meet Generals Gillmore, Terry and Stevenson at 
9 p.m., and to receive instructions. The men, too, hear 
rumors of what is afoot, and with the giving out of twenty 
rounds they are pretty sure that work is impending. As one 
man puts it, "There is a great deal of talk in camp. Some 
look pale and more have a grave smile on their faces. We 
expect hot work before sunrise to-morrow morning." Gen- 
eral Terry's instructions to the several brigades were very 
explicit, and for Stevenson's, reinforced by the Fourth New 
Hampshire and the Ninth Elaine, they were to occupy the 
trenches immediately in rear of the advance party. At the 
giving of the signal, viz., the raising of a signal flag on the 
surf battery and on the right of the fifth parallel and the 
American ensign on the Beacon House, "the men will spring 
out on the beach, rush forward at a double quick, pass between 
Wagner and the sea, and extend themselves along the rear of 
the fort to the marsh. They will mount the parapet and fire 
down the parade." The troops are to move to their assigned 
positions before 1.30 a.m., having their breakfasts in their 
haversacks. When the works are carried they will be garri- 
soned by General Stevenson's brigade. No men are to be 
allowed to leave the ranks on any pretext; even the wounded 
must wait for attention till the affair is over. 

All of the directions were obeyed to the letter. The men 
were called out shortly after midnight of the 7th. Nearly 

224 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Eegiment. 

15,000 soldiei-s are alert to accomplish the downfall of Wag- 
ner, so long a frowning menace. There Avere men in those 
lines who recalled the verses of Bayard Taylor in his Crimean 
Episode, when, before the terrible assault of the Malakoff, 
British soldiers sang Annie Laurie. There were Marys and 
Noras in far-away homes sighing for these men in blue just as 
devotedly as did those of Britain when, in 1855, as the poet 
expresses it : 

The guardsmen say, 

AVe storm the fort tomorrow; 
Sing while we may, another day 

Will bring enough of sorrow. 

But all apprehensions proved groundless, for, before the 
advance was ordered, there appeared a deserter who said that 
Wagner was forsaken. ^Moving up and over the space, so 
long fired over, it was found that the fortress was empty, and 
another stretch to Gregg revealed that also void of defendere. 
Wagner was in a deplorable condition. Our bombardment 
had dismounted the guns, smashed the gun-carriages, and dis- 
lodged the timbers. The stench that pervaded the ruins was 
enough to stagger the visitor. The torpedoes that were 
planted over much of the intervening space were dug up by 
the engineers. At daylight the regiment marched back to 
camp and, during the day, beheld the forts on James' and 
Sullivan's Islands firing on their former allies, Wagner and 

The Confederate Colonel Olmstead, already referred to, 
page 215, remarks further: 

The ground between Gillmore's front and Wagner was 
thickly studded with torpedoes : his left flank was searched by 
the unremitting fire from our batteries on James' Island. The 
head of the sap was slowly pushed forward under the cease- 
less fire of howitzers and sharpshooters from the entire front 
of the fort, while last, though not least, the besiegers had now 
reached a point where every onward step compelled him to 
dig through the bodies of their dead who had been buried 
some weeks before. In the emergencv General Gillmore 

Sept. 7, '63. 

Fort Wagner. 


availed himself of his superior resources in artillery' to keep 
down the active resistance of Wagner, and to this end every 
gun ashore and afloat Avas turned upon it. The final bom- 
bardment began at daybreak on the 5th of September, and for 
forty-two hours continued with a severity and awful terror 
beyond the power of words to describe. That night, as wit- 
nessed from Fort Johnson, where the First Regiment was sta- 
tioned, the scene was magnificent in the extreme. The lurid 
flashes of the guns, the unceasing roar, the shells of every 
description of tremendous artillery that could be tracked 


through the air by flaming fuses; the mortar still rising in 
stately curve and steady sweep, the Parrott shell darting like 
lightning in its mission of death, the missiles from the fleet 
booming along the water and bursting in Wagner with cruel 
accuracy, the glare of calcium lights bringing out every 
detail of our works as in the noonday — all these filled the souls 
of Confederate spectators with awe and found their painful 
antithesis in the silence of Wagner. The end had come. 

All through the 6th the bombardment continued, and that 
evening the sap had reached the counterscarp of the work, 
and only the ditch and parapet separated the combatants. 

226 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

The assault was ordered for nine o'clock in the morning of 
the 7th, but by midnight of the 6th the place was evacuated 
by the Confederates, the whole force being taken off the island 
in row-boats. Some few of these boats were intercepted, but 
the garrison as a garrison was saved. The enemy at once 
occupied both AVagner and Gregg, and Morris Island in its 
entirety was in their possession. 

September 8th General Terry issued a special order to the 
following effect, that an attempt will be made to-night to 
carry Fort Sumter by assault. The regiments detailed for 
this purpose are the Tenth Connecticut and the Twenty- 
fourth Massachusetts, with the Colonel of the Twenty-fourth 
in command. Major Sanford of the Seventh Connecticut of 
General Terry's staff, having carefully reconnoitered the 
route, will accompany the expedition and advise Colonel 
Osborn as to the proper direction. The men will embark at 
the bridge immediately after sunset, and the assault will be 
made at the earliest practicable moment. One hundred addi- 
tional men are detailed as oarsmen from the Seventh Connect- 
icut and One Hundred and Fourth Pennsylvania. A signal 
officer will accompany the party. How the affair terminated 
is best told by Colonel Osborn in his report to headquarters : 

I have the honor to submit the following report of a boat 
expedition, planned to take possession of Fort Sumter by sur- 
prise and assault. In obedience to orders from Brig.-Gen. A. 
H. Terry, and in conformity to verbal instructions received 
from him, I took command of the Tenth Regiment, Connecti- 
cut Volunteers, Major E. S. Greeley commanding, and the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, Major 
Chas. H. Hooper commanding, each regiment numbering 
about 300 men, and sent them to the picket station near the 
left batteries immediately after dusk on the 8th inst. At that 
place Capt. Chas. R. Brayton, R. I. Artillery, reported to me 
with two howitzer launches, and Lieut. J. A. Newell, One 
Hundredth Regiment, New York Volunteers, with a light boat, 
to act as guides to the howitzer launches. These boats, with 
others, carrying fifty men of the Tenth Connecticut, under 
command of Capt. E. D. S. Goodyear, I immediately sent to 
the mouth of the creek to wait for the arrival of the rest of the 

Sept. 8, '63. Fort Sumter. 227 

party. Captain Brayton had with him a sergeant and four 
men selected from the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers, carrying 
a bag of powder and a quick match, for the purpose of blow- 
ing in the gate of the sally-port. The rest of the troops were 
then embarked in the boats, an operation which occupied 
nearly three hours, as but one man could enter at a time. The 
tide was completely out, causing the boats to ground frequent- 
ly. At about 11 p.m. all was in readiness, and the expedition 
moved out of the mouth of the creek, Maj. 0. S. Sanford, 
Seventh Connecticut Volunteers, whose assistance and advice 
were invaluable to me during the whole time, leading, and I 
followed in the second. 

Arrived at the mouth of the creek, Major Sanford directed 
his course toward the gorge and sea faces of the fort, and Cap- 
tain Brayton on our left, towards the sally-port or cityward 
face. On approaching the fort, he was to send one of his 
howitzer launches a short distance towards Charleston to pre- 
vent the arrival of reinforcements from there. The boats pro- 
ceeded in excellent order and in perfect silence until I esti- 
mated that I was a half mile from Fort Sumter, which could 
then be seen distinctly. At that time I saw and heard what I 
supposed to be two musket-shots fired from a face of the fort 
most distant from us. This I concluded to be a signal of some 
kind, perhaps that our approach had been discovered. I had 
been informed that the Navy contemplated an attack on the 
same night, but as the hour was late I had come to the conclu- 
sion that they had relinquished the idea. It did not, there- 
fore, occur to me that it was on their account that the shots 
were fired, and I pushed on. It was then 12.30 a.m., as well 
as I could judge. Presently I saw the flash of a musket from 
the parapet (others also report hearing the challenge of a sen- 
try), and immediately a volley was fired from the surface of 
the water, coming evidently from boats lying apparently at 
the angle of the gorge and sea faces. Signal-lights and rockets 
then appeared on the fort, answered from the batteries on 
James' and Sullivan's Island, which immediately opened on 
the fort. Shots were distinctly heard to strike it, and one 
shell from a mortar fell within it and exploded, lighting it up 
brightly. The fire continued from the boats, though not with 
the same vigor as at first, and howitzers were also used. The 
voices of officers giving commands were plainly heard. But 
very little resistance was made from the fort. A few musket- 
shots were fired, some flashes might have been grenades, and 
there were one or two explosions which seemed to be from a 

228 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Kegiment. 

field-piece. I could see no indications of an attempt to land 
on the part of the attacking party. As the Navy had antici- 
pated my attack I could do nothing but return. At my 
request, Major Sanford then took the direction of Vincent's 
Creek. Soon after we put about the musketiy entirely ceased, 
and I judged that the boats were retiring. The affair lasted 
for about twenty minutes. The batteries continued firing for 
twenty minutes afterwards, and when we had nearly reached 
the landing in Vincent's Creek the batteiy on James' Island 
commenced shelling the creek where we had embarked. All 
the troopswere landed before four o'clock, and were dismissed. 
In conclusion, I desire again to express my grateful sense of 
Major Sanford 's services. His experience in such expeditions 
and his acquaintance with the position were of inestimable 
aid, and had the affair been carried to a happy termination, 
its success would have been in a verj' great measure due to 

Subsequent to the foregoing. Colonel Osborn wrote as fol- 
lows concerning his interview with General Gillmore and its 
bearing on the event : ' ' General Gillmore said that there was a 
difference of opinion between him and the commander of the 
naval forces as to which had the prior right to make an 
assault upon Fort Sumter; that both considered an assault 
practicable, and each claimed the right of his arm of the ser- 
vice to deliver it ; that they had been in active correspondence 
on the subject, but had failed to come to an agreement ; that 
the siege guns of the army had reduced the fort to its vulner- 
able condition, and that, consequently, the army should have 
the honor of attempting to capture it ; that to this end he was 
going to send that night a boat expedition, of which I was to 
have the command against the fort; that he would provide 
boats equipped with good oarsmen in one of the creeks; that 
I was to make all haste possible to anticipate the Navy, who 
were also going to send an expedition for the same purpose; 
but that if the Navy should succeed in making the first assault 
I was not to take any part in it with them for fear of compli- 
cations, but to return to land immediately by a creek different 
from that through which I had set out, and that he would 

Sept. 8, '63. Fort Sumter. 229 

send Avith me as a guide a staff officer who was familiar with 
the harbor. 

"These iastriictions were verbal, but they were explicit and 
positive and they were punctually followed, notwithstanding 
the feeling of shame caused by being compelled to withhold 
from the Na\7' the aid which it was the natural impulse to 

' ' It was a consolation to learn afterward that such aid would 
have been ineffective and would only have involved the cap- 
ture of a detachment of the Army as well as of the Navy. 
The engineer officers who had surveyed the fort through 
their field glasses from Fort Wagner and had pronounced it 
practicable for assault, though honest in their belief, were 
mistaken. Such an attempt should not have been made. 
Further, the open preparations of the Navy had given alarm 
to the enemy, and caused them to make special arrangements 
for resistance, so that the element of surprise, upon which 
General Gillmore had largely counted, was absolutely want- 
ing. ' ' 

Again it is interesting to see ourselves as others see us, 
and for this purpose reference is once more had to the paper 
of Colonel Olmstead, wherein he says : 

On the afternoon of Sept. 8th notice was received by the 
commanders of batteries within the range of Sumter that a 
boat attack would be made upon that fortress during the 
night, and they were ordered at a given signal to open upon 
the point where the boats Avere expected. The signals of the 
enemy had again been intercepted, and upon our side there 
was perfect readiness. The garrison of Sumter prepared to 
meet the enemy upon the slope with a shower of musketry. 
The guns of our continuous batteries were carefully trained 
upon the right spot before dark, and as soon as night had fal- 
len a Confederate ironclad moved into position to add the fire 
of her powerful guns. Silently the night wore on : for hours 
not a sound broke its stillness; the men sat drowsily by the 
guns, and the belief gained ground that the proposed attack 
had been abandoned, when suddenly there was the twinkle of 
a musket from Sumter's, then a rocket soared in the air, and 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

the bellowing' of the great guns and the explosion of shells 
instantaneously and startlingly contrasted with the sleepy 
quiet of our long hours of watching. The assault was re- 
pulsed with considerable loss to the assailants, but with none 
to the garrison. 


It is singular to note from General Gillmore's report as an 
evidence of a want of harmony between the land and naval 
forces, that the two independent expeditions were organized 
in this attack — one by Admiral Dahlgren, the other by Gen- 
eral Gillmore. The report says: "The only arrangements for 
concert of action between the two parties that were finally 
made, were intended simply to prevent accident or collision 
between them. Each party was deemed in itself sufficiently 
strong for the object in view." The naval expedition, con- 
sisting of some twenty-five or thirty boats, came directly from 
the ships, in tow of steam tugs, and, reaching Sumter first, 
at once delivered its attack. The land forces, about 490 
strong, embarked in their boats in Vincent's Creek. The 
windings of the stream probably delayed them and they had 
not quite reached the fort when the naval assault was made 
and repulsed. All hope of a surprise being at an end, the 
second force retired. 

Sept. 15, '63. Morris Isl^wd. 231 

After the Sumter incident comparative quiet prevailed 
Avitli the accustomed routine of camp life. A delightful vari- 
ance, however, is had along about the 10th and 12th, when, 
through the generosity of Northern friends, ice is sent down 
to the regiment, and the unwonted luxury of ice-water, on 
the torrid sands of Morris Island, is enjoyed. Also there is 
the record of the construction of an oven and the consequent 
ration of "soft bread." On the 13th General Stevenson 
goes to Hilton Head, on his way homeward, to enjoy a respite 
of twenty days. "When the regiment went on picket, the 14th, 
Captain Redding was in command, the Colonel being detained 
in camp by other duties. Captain Clark leaves for Hilton 
Head to accompany General Stevenson to the North. An 
incident of the 16th was the racing of two parties of colored 
troops, one having on wheels a twenty-pound Parrott gun, the 
other a carriage for the same. For a c|uarter of a mile they 
ran like rival fire companies. The 18th sees Companies C, G 
and F on picket at Fort Gregg, the other companies in Wag- 
ner and the parallels. "We had 'plum duff' for dinner," 
writes one careful observer, "but I'd rather have pudding at 
home. ' ' Hard boys to please, sometimes, these soldier lads. 

While the general orders of General Gillmore do not par- 
ticularize the Twenty-fourth, they are in place here as an 
estimate of the work done by all the men who warred against 
the Charleston defenses: 

Department op the South, Headquarters 
IN THE Field. 
Morris Island, S. C, Sept. 15, 1863. 

It is with no ordinary feeling of gratification and pride 
that the Brigadier-General commanding is enabled to con- 
gratulate this Army upon the signal success which has 
crowned the enterprise in which it has been engaged. Fort 
Sumter is destroyed. The scene where our country's flag 
suffered its first dishonor you have made the theatre of one 
of its proudest triumphs. 

The fort has been in the possession of the enemy for more 
than two years, has been his pride and boast, has been 

232 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

streno'thened by every appliance known to military science, 
and has defied the assaults of the most powerful fleet the 
world ever saw. But it has yielded to your courage and 
patient labor. Its walls are now crumbled to ruins, its for- 
midable batteries are silenced, and, though a hostile flag still 
floats over it, the fort is a harmless and helpless wreck. 

Forts Wagner and Gregg — works rendered memorable by 
their protracted resistance and the sacrifice of life they have 
cost — have also been wrested from the enemy by your perse- 
vering courage and skill, and the graves of your fallen com- 
rades rescued from desecration and contumely. 

You hold now in undisputed possession the whole of Mor- 
ris Island, and the city and harbor of Charleston lie at the 
mercy of your artillery from the very spot where the first 
shot was fired at your country's flag and the Rebellion itself 
was inaugurated. 

To you, the officers and soldiers of this command, and to 
the gallant Navy which has cooperated with you, are due the 
thanks of your commander and your country. You were 
called upon to encounter untold privations and dangers ; to 
undergo unremitting and exhausting labors ; to sustain severe 
and disheartening reverses. How nobly your patriotism and 
zeal have responded to the call the results of the campaign 
will show, and your Commanding General gratefully bears 

Brigadier-General Commanding. 

Official: Adrian Terry, Ass't Adj't Gen'l. 

— R. R., Vol. 28, Part 1, p. 39. 

While the Confederates are building new fortifications, and 
the Union forces are doing likewise, the men on Morris Island 
are discovering some of the possibilities of their locality, and 
find that the marshes abound in sea fowl, that oysters may be 
had for the digging and a reminder of home comes in the 
shape of dried apples, whence is made sauce, though it is not 
exactly the season of the year for the latter viand in northern 
realms. On the 22d there is a liberal display of bunting on 
the forts and at the mast-heads of the Navy, all on account of 
the reception by General Gillmore of a Major-General's com- 
mission, and every one agrees that the honor is well earned. 

Sept. '63. Morris Island. 233 

In recognition of the honor done to the Commanding- General, 
there is a review of all the troops on the island Sept. 24th. 
The bands of the Twenty-fourth, Tenth Connecticut and the 
Third New Hampshire were united, and made a most delight- 
ful combination as the forces passed in review. 

And thus the records read down to the end of the month. 
There is continuous building of fortifications; the rebels keep 
up a fire on Wagner and Gregg, though they accomplish very 
little. Occasionally the Union batteries reply and all the 
time there is the endless alternation of camp-duty and picket. 
The Swamp Angel has its share of attention at the hands of 
the Twenty-fourth and, seemingly, there is not a foot of the 
island that is not again and again patrolled by the weary 
feet of its members. On the 26th Lieutenant Ward writes 
from Boston that he learns, at the State House, that promo- 
tion to second lieutenancies is blocked because of the numbers 
of the regiment being below the minimum, thus showing the 
inroads that disease and battle have made upon the organiza- 
tion. Sept. 29th comes the order for the regiment to proceed 
at once to St. Augustine, Florida, and there is need enough 
of the change, for, while there are many names on the rolls, 
very few of them are those of men able to respond to any call 
of duty. North Carolina malaria and the exactions of the 
campaign in the South State have done their work till scarce- 
ly more than a tenth part of the men are reported as well. It 
is time that Christian charity should get in a little work, and 
these fever-wasted, sun-stricken men should go away for a 
chance to recuperate. On the last day of the month Colonel 
Osbom rides doM'n to pay his respects to General Gillmore 
along with Colonel Guss of the Ninety-seventh Pennsylvania, 
who, with his regiment, goes to Fernandina. Returning, 
tents are struck and all preparations made to go aboard the 
steamers Escort and INIonohansett. As the men are making 
their preparations to depart they are closely watched by 
other soldiers who have to remain, ready to appropriate any- 
thing that, in the hurry of moving, may be overlooked. There 
w^as the utmost economy of resources among those warriors 

234 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

of Morris Island. Oompany D of the Tenth Connecticut did 
a comradely thing in preparing a cup of tea for the departing 
men of G in the Twenty-fourth. Though the liquid drank 
may not have been that of which the Bard of Scotland sings, 
yet it was none the less a cup of kindness taken "for auld 
lang syne." The tents went down at sunset; soon after it 
began to rain, and September ends with the survivors of the 
Twenty-fourth all aboard and awaiting their departure for 
the Land of Flowers. 

From pencil sketch by Lieut. J, M. Barnard, Co. G. 


When at 9 a.m. of Thursday, Oct. 1st, the regiment steamed 
away from Morris Island, called by some ' ' The Land of Sand 
and Fleas," there were no heavy hearts at leaving. For New- 
bern, there was with many a genuine attachment, but aver- 
sion would better express, if the word be strong enough, their 
impressions of the stay in front of Charleston. They were 
leaving with a consciousness of having done their duty and 
of having borne a part in the capturing of the city's defenses, 
but barren and sand-wastes are not calculated to arouse much 
sentiment anywhere or at any time. The trip for the day 
ends at Hilton Head at 3 p.m. for the Monohansett, and at 
5 for the Escort. After getting express matter, and finding 
that the mail had gone to Morris Island, also taking on a new 
supply of coal, at 8 and 10 o'clock respectively, the transports 

Oct. 3, '63. St. Augustine. 235 

started again to the southward. About noon of the 2d, the 
vessels made the harbor of Fernandina, it being impossible 
to reach St. Augustine at high tide. There, the officers were 
the guests of those of the Eleventh Maine, which had been 
ordered to this point for the sake of health, and the rank and 
file also found old friends who entertained them in a way to 
make many hungry boys happy. Of the town itself there was 
very little approval, the name being much prettier than the 
place, but the old Fort Clinch and the building of a new forti- 
fication are especially noted. The third start is made early 
in the morning of the 3rd, and, with the shore in sight all of 
the way, the trip was delightful, none the less so for a race 
which the two steamers had, resulting in a draw. The dis- 
tance of fifty-one miles seemed very short to the men, every 
one of whom was blessing the memory of Ponce de Leon, if he 
ever heard of him, for his discovery of the Flowery State, 
though these Yankees are not so much in search of perpetual 
youth as they are seeking for a renewal of health and 
strength. Arrived off the oldest settlement in America, a 
pilot was taken on board, and, in the afternoon, the regiment 
debarked, and found temporary quarters in St. Francis' bar- 
racks, really an old monastery, converted into military use. 
While the men complain of crowded accommodations, so much 
so that some prefer to bunk in the outer air, they are none the 
less grateful at the change from their recent stopping place. 


The Forty-eighth New York, one of the regiments that suf- 
fered so severely in the 18th of July charge on Wagner, is 
here, having been sent down some time before, August 2d, and 
has been having a most pleasant and profitable time among 
the orange trees, but it must now give place to the ]\Iassachu- 
setts men. However much the New Yorkers may have re- 
gretted the necessity, there was nothing of displeasure in the 
three rousing cheers with which they greeted the men who were 
to replace them. The Forty-eighth ceased its duties as garri- 

236 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

son on the arrival of the Twenty-fourth, and, on the 6th, in 
the steamers which brought the Yankees, sailed away to 
Beaufort, S. C, reporting to General Rufus Saxton, and some 
of them soon after were sent to Seabrook to perform duties 
so long the task of the Twenty-fourth. In the evening 
of this first day in St. Augustine, the Forty-eighth Regiment 
gave a theatrical performance to the Twenty-fourth, a free 
show, and to these sand-permeated men it was one of the times 
of their lives. The fixtures of the theatre had been brought 
from Fort Pulaski, Georgia, where the Forty-eighth, months 
before, had given many hours to amateur dramatics, in this 
way disposing of tedious time, otherwise spent in idleness. 
Saturday, the day of landing, Colonel Osborn dines with Lieu- 
tenant-Colonel D. W. Strickland of the Forty-eighth, and pre- 
sumably is informed by the latter of some of the peculiarities 
of the position he is about to occupy. The first Sunday in 
town is marked by both colonels attending the Catholic 
Church. Monday, the 5th, sees the Forty-eighth on ship- 
board, and consequent wider opportunity for their successors. 
Companies C, G and I are sent to Fort Marion and the other 
seven find quarters in the barraclvs. 

With the departure of the New York regiment on the 6th, 
before noon, the Twenty-fourth was left in sole possession of 
the ancient city, thus by courtesy, for to men from the North 
it always seemed strange that the South gave the larger name 
to places that elsewhere would hardly be fair-sized villages. 
There may have been 500 people in St. Augustine, but the 
greater part of the men able to bear arms were away in the 
Confederate army, while the U. S. government was largely 
taking care of their families in the old Spanish town. There 
were residents, however, who had come down from the North 
before the war and they gave hearty greetings to the new- 
comers as they had to their predecessors, and something like 
society was found in St. Augustine, a fact that was particu- 
larly agreeable to many of the officers and men who for a 
year and a half had seen little of civilization, not to mention 

Oct. '63. St. Augustine. 237 

home life. Some of the features of the place are well set forth, 
in a letter from Colonel Osborn : 

I shall live in a house now occupied by the late comman- 
dant of the post, Lieutenant-Colonel Strickland. It is a fine 
old house, with great rooms. There is a veranda around both 
stories, and it is surrounded with trees and shrubs. There is 
a banana tree in the yard and flowering plants. The climate 
is delightful and the place one of the most healthful in the 
South. There is a plenty of oranges, limes, lemons, bananas 
and guavas, and fresh vegetables will soon appear and last all 
winter. There is some society left in the town which is said 
to be quite agreeable. It is a quaint old place, one of the old- 
est in the United States. Every one assures us that we shall 
have a delightful time. * * * * There are very few of the 
enemy in the neighborhood and they have given very little 

As to the fruit in Florida, the men expected lemons and 
limes to be sour, but they were disappointed to tind the 
oranges having the same characteristic. When the Forty- 
eighth went aboard their vessels, the three companies as- 
signed to Fort Marion went thither under command of Cap- 
tain Richardson of G, and proceeded to make themselves as 
comfortable as possible, pitching their tents upon the ram- 
parts, at least some of them. Lieutenant Barnard, who has 
been acting adjutant, returns to his company, G, and Lieu- 
tenant Edmands of B Company takes his place. The 6th 
brought with it the necessity of a deal of police duty and con- 
siderable extra work in making ready for a stay in the new 
location. As the Forty-eighth went away the men were 
greeted by the waving of handkerchiefs by ladies who had 
gathered to see them off, and their own cheers for the Massa- 
chusetts men as they passed the fort were most heartily re- 
turned by the new garrison, and thus separate the organiza- 
tions, not to meet again till in the Battle Summer of '64, when 
they will participate in the campaign waged in that year by 
the Army of the James. Again a letter written by the 
Colonel graphically describes the duties which devolved upon 
him in his new position : 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


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Oct. 'G3. Theatre. 239 

and ]\Iiss Perit. who are Northern ladies. * * I met there 
Mrs. Anderson, who is also a Northern lady, and is spoken 
of very highly. (To these three ladies Lieutenant James 
M. Nichols in his history of the Forty-eighth devotes a 
paragraph, in his brief reference to the stay here, refer- 
ring to their admirable qualities of hand, heart and 
head.) * * Though the people are called of Spanish de- 
scent, they are really ^Minorcans, or descendants of early set- 
tlers from the Isle of ^Minorca in the ^lediterranean Sea, 

While the officers are finding some semblance of their old 
home-life among the Union-loving citizens, the enlisted men 
are living on the fat of the land and the commissary, their 
troubles in the past being more from a lack of stomach sup- 
plies than from any social wants. They chronicle the presence 
of fish, eggs, milk, pies, cakes, and almost everything known to 
the culinary art, while the shores themselves furnish an abun- 
dance of oysters which these men from the seaside, many of 
them, know how to dig and prepare for the table. "Eight 
bushels," says one truthful narrator, "I helped open, and 
what a rich treat we had for dinner." The theatre which 
the New Yorkers had inaugurated, the men from the Bay 
State keep up, and thus furnish occupation and fun for all 
concerned. On the evening of the 16th, there is a record of 
"Toodles" being played, and the comment, "Singing and ro- 
mance under difficulties." It would be an error to suppose 
that the favorite occupations of the regiment were in the least 
neglected. Drills, inspections and parades immediately came 
back to all of their pristine importance. While the men in 
the barracks kept at their former course, those in the fort had 
to take in something new in the shape of heavy artillery drill. 
Sergeants of the Forty-eighth had been left to coach the offi- 
cers, and they in turn imparted their new acquirements to 
the soldiers. Young ladies enliven the dress-parades with 
their presence, food is abundant, the duty by no means hard, 
the climate perfect, and some of the men are banking on the 
possibilities of their staying out their term of service in the 
charmed locality. Their favorite hymn has become — 

240 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

My willing soul would stay 

In such a frame as this, 
And sit and sing itself away, 

To everlasting bliss. 

On the 17th, Companies A and E, under Captain Redding, 
were sent outside of the lines a short distance to get some cat- 
tle, a Mr. Black accompanying them. They came back at 
3 p.m. with three head, the remainder having escaped into 
the woods. Writing on the 26th, the Colonel says of the thea- 
tre, which the men call the Olympic : ' ' We have had three per- 
formances and, probably, shall continue them. The actors 
are enlisted men. The drummer boys impersonate the female 
parts. It is very amusing to see how awkwardly they set 
about it at first, and how ungainly their motions are. They 
have obviously improved, however, and in time will do quite 
well."* The 30th of October brings the steamer Cosmopoli- 
tan with some troops and a number of sick with the rumor 
that a convalescent hospital is to be established. The 

*Few survivors of the Twenty-fourth fail to dwell with pleasure on the 
Olympic Theatre memories, and well they may, for nowhere was the 
versatility of the regiment better shown. The entire management as 
well as delineation was in their hands. The stage was capacious, some 
thirty feet in depth, with a proscenium curtain thirteen feet by twenty- 
six. Costumes, proi^erties, everything that could be purchased of the 
New Yorkers were secured. The drop-curtain bore an enlarged picture 
of the seal of the New England Guards, drawn by H. B. McLellan of 
"A," and painted by him along with John Grithth of "K" and J. G. 
Duffy of "E." The walls were painted in chocolate and gold by Grif- 
fith and Duffy, who also depicted, in the center of the panels, scenes 
from St. Augustine and vicinity, sketched by McLellan. A few months 
later Griffith and O'Brien, one of the actors, were to paint with their 
own life blood the soil of Virginia a deeper crimson than their brushes 
had ever known. A renderingof "To Paris and Back," Dec. 24, intro- 
duced the following men : W. N. French and McLellan of "A," S. O. 
Covell of "B," G. W. LaFavor, F. A. Carney and F. E. Hall of "H" 
(the latter playing a feminine part) , Jer. O'Brien of "I" and A.J. 
Varney of "K." The season afforded a wide variety of plays, including 
To Paris and Back for Five Pounds, The Bachelor's Bedroom, My Wife's 
Second Floor, Bombastes Furioso, An Object of Interest, A Blighted Be- 
ing, Aunt Charlotte's Maid, Number One Around the Corner, An Ugly 
Customer, The Two Buzzards, and possibly several others. The regi- 

Oct. '63. 

St. Augustine. 


next and last day of the month is signiticant in the annals 
of the regiment in that its old friends of the Tenth Connecti- 
cut come down to bear it company in the pleasant occupation 
of regaining health. The latter goes into camp beyond the 
fort, having been received with an artillery salute. Surgeon 
Green is also on one of the steamers with Lieutenants Ward 
and Walker, and a number of enlisted men, returning from 


mental Glee Club was frequent in song, and players from the respective 
Twenty-fourth Massachusetts and Tenth Connecticut Bands made up 
the orchestra. To the players of feminine parts should be added the 
names of S. O. Covell of B and A. J. Vining of K. The costumes and 
other outfit, procured from New York, cost about $500, an amount quite 
equalled by the admissions taken at the door. 

242 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

furlough. Paymaster Porter is sighted and his prospective 
benefits make him a welcome visitor to the place. 

As compared M^ith life in South Carolina, the Italian motto, 
"Dolce far niente," might be adopted by the regiment as 
indicative of the course of events in St. Augustine. The old 
Spanish town exemplified fully the procrastinating spirit of 
their favorite manana and, with their everlasting to-morrow 
in mind, not a few of the men are wondering how the male 
portion of the inhabitants ever mustered resolution enough to 
enlist. However, they were absent, and as representatives of 
the sterner sex, Massachusetts and Connecticut Yankees were 
much in evidence. Some of them enjoyed much the opportu- 
nity to study so old a place. The coquina of which the fort 
was erected was also the principal building material of the 
city itself. Compressed sand and shells as it was, it afforded 
an easily worked and fine looking substance for walls, and 
when laid on the roads it made them hard and smooth. The 
fort completed by the Spaniards in 1756, a hundred years in 
building, passed into the keeping of the English, who in turn 
gave it back to the Spaniard. The latter at last yielded to 
the Americans, and all its former appellations, as San Juan, 
San Angelo and St. Mark, gave place to that commemora- 
tive of General Francis Marion, the famous Swamp Fox of 
South Carolina and Revolutionary days. Every portion of it 
was thoroughly ransacked by the Northern soldiers, and not a 
few of them tasted the solitudes of its dungeon, in whose 
darkness they were immured for offenses from which even 
the delights of Florida did not exempt them. Of this fortress 
Chaplain Trumbull of the Tenth Connecticut writes in the 
following terms : 

This fort, with its castellated battlements, its formidable 
bastions, its lofty and imposing sally-port, still surmounted by 
the royal arms of Spain ; its portcullis, moat and drawbridge ; 
its round and ornate coquina sentry-boxes at each principal 
parapet angle ; its commanding lookout tower, its stained and 

Oct. '63. St. Augustine. 243 

moss-grown massive walls, — impressed an observer as a relic 
of the long-gone past. Its frowning guns and its guard of 
veteran soldiers combined to make it at the time a representa- 
tive beleaguered fortress. Its heavy casements, its gloomy 
vaults, its dark passages, and its then recently-discovered 
dungeon (where, according to popular report, were found 
skeletons chained to rusty ring-bolts) ; the dark tally list on 
the moldering walls, speaking of weary prisoners in other 
dreary days, — all were calculated to awe or solemnize an 
imaginative mind. 

While the Italian sentiment indicates that idleness is sweet, 
it is not to be inferred that the Twenty-fourth was absolutely 
freed from work. Of course, there were the regnilar duties of 
camp life. They drilled and paraded; they w^ere inspected 
and they had to keep their surroundings in the neatest of 
-order. They went on picket periodically, but in this duty 
there was a variation from their former performance of the 
task. Here they had a wide range of food to choose from, 
and while one portion of the post kept his eye out for possible 
danger or approach of any kind, the other might be prepar- 
ing a toothsome repast of sweet potatoes and oysters, in which 
the waters of the region abound. A good soldier never for- 
gets his stomach, and as tliese men were in Florida to recu- 
perate they were doing their best to accomplish the desired 

Of the town itself one of the regiments writes : ' ' There are 
only four streets parallel to the principal one, and the place 
is only about half as deep as it is long. * * The climate is 
very much like our September, or perhaps more like our In- 
dian summer. Flowers are in full bloom, and the fruit 
hangs ripening on the trees. Early vegetables are peeping 
above the ground, radishes are fit to eat, and lettuce will soon 
be ready for the table. Green peas will have their turn in 
about a month," and yet with all the fruits of Florida these 
men from the Bay State are sending North for barrels of 
apples, confirming the statement that one brought up to eat 
apples never gets beyond hankering for them. When the 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

good Massachusetts frnit reached the southland, the owner of 
apples had no difficulty in selling what he did not himself 
wish for five cents apiece and, as a writer remarks, "Some of 
them w^ere small, too. ' ' 

On the very first day of the month Colonel Osborn relin- 
quished the command of the regiment to oNIajor Hooper, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson still being absent, and devoted 
his time to the duties of commandant of the post. As the 
Tenth Connecticut is also in St. Augustine, his duties are 
somewhat like those of the commander of a brigade. Gene- 


ral Gillmore is having a hospital erected in the place for the 
sake of convalescent officers and men of the department who 
will be sent here to hasten their recovery. Until the 7th 
there was nothing worthy of note, but on that day Major 
Hooper, with 250 men, went out on a foraging trip, support- 
ing a Mr. Black. Their object was cattle, and for the same he 
goes to his own (Black's) place on the St. John's River, and 
the men follow to Sampson's Creek, twenty miles from the 
town. The party returned on the 9th, bringing in twenty- 
five head, and the appetites of hungry soldiers are appeased 
with dinners of real roast beef. 

It was in these days that one of the men discovered in one 

Nov. '63. St. Augustine. 245 

of the citizens an acquaintance from his own town "up 
North" and, as a sequel, he had the privilege of sitting at a 
table for the first time in over two years. He felt consider- 
ably exalted thereat, and was quite delighted to find that he 
had not forgotten all of his table manners. One impression- 
able fellow dilates on the beauty of the St. Augustine ladies, 
calling them the handsomest he ever saw. What a rating his 
best girl at home would give him could she know his feel- 
ings ! ' ' They dress richly in spite of the war ; perhaps they 
had their fine clothes before the same began. ' ' Plaza de Con- 
stitution is the open space extending backward from the 
water and around which are the principal buildings of the 
place. Along the whole water's edge there is a great wall, 
built of stone looking like Quincy granite. It was seven 
years in building, and cost $100,000. It is the favorite prom- 
enade for the city. 

November 12th the Masonic soldiers in St. Augustine had a 
lodge-meeting, and to light the room occupied had to go to 
the citizens for candles, since the supply of the commissary 
was exhausted. It was on the 16th that Colonel Osborn 
reviewed the regiment and, while the exercise was in prog- 
ress, there came a variation when a young bull, at large, 
attacked one of the guidons, whose bright color seemingly was 
offensive. The boys were certain that he was a secesh 
animal, hence deserving of death. Nov. 17th, Corporal John 
Atkinson of Company G died in the hospital, having been ill 
ever since the arrival of the regiment. His remains were 
given a military burial the next day outside of the cemetery 
at the upper end of the town. After the interment, some 
little girls appeared and covered the grave with flowers and 
set out rose and geranium slips, rather a pleasing instance of 
that touch of nature which makes the whole world kin. 

Decidedly the most interesting day in the entire month 
was the 26th, the Thursday that friends in the North were ob- 
serving as Thanksgiving Day. Of course these far-away sons 
of Northern homes were not to allow the day to pass unob- 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 





































































































































p— ' 














































































































Dec. 'G3. St. Augustine. 2-1-7 

reniinder of home and mother. November 30, at dress- 
parade, there Avas read an order by General Truman Seymour 
to the effect that the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts and the 
Tenth Connecticut were as good and w^ell-drilled volunteer 
regiments as he had ever seen, an indication that Floridian 
ease was not in the least impairing the efficiency of the men. 

The last month of 1863 finds the Twenty-fourth still enjoy- 
ing the fruits and pastimes of Florida. Until the end of the 
month, there is little variance from the preceding two. It 
goes without saying that all of the routine duties are care- 
fully attended to, and that all the pleasure the men can get 
out of their surroundings is had also. The companies in the 
fort plume themselves on becoming quite expert artillerists, 
at the same time losing none of their skill as infantrymen. 
Owing to the scarcity of fuel, wood-chopping expeditions are 
sent out several miles to cut wood ; the services of prisoners, 
i.e., men doing extra duty as a penalty, are utilized for this 
purpose under guard. Others not prisoners have to do the same 
at times. On the 10th, news reaches St. Augustine of the 
Union victories of Grant in and around Chattanooga, and a na- 
tional salute is fired from the fort at noon. While no time is 
wasted thus, many a glance is cast towards the water upon 
w^hich enter the steamers carrying the mail and other com- 
munications from home. Complaint is common over the 
irregularity of the vessels. Now and then a cold snap, with 
ice in evidence, reminds the men of what their friends are 
having in the far-away North. Officers complain because of 
General Gillmore's unwillingness to grant leave of absence 
and wonder what the reason is. 

By the middle of December, talk of re-enlistment becomes 
quite common, and a movement is made towards trying to 
convert the regiment into one ^of heavy artillery, and thus go 
home to recruit to the maximum number. Rebel deserters 
are common, and some of them express a willingness to enlist 
in an organization to be formed after the model of that in 
Washington, N. C. On the 14th, Chaplain Trumbull of the 

248 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Tenth Connecticut, who had been captured at Wagner, and 
who had had a particularly hard time with the rebels, 
returns. The Confederates tried hard to hang him as a spy, 
but even they did not dare to go that far. The 15th, Colonel 
Osborn is interviewed by a party of men who came to the lines 
asking the privilege of organizing to defend themselves 
against guerrillas, but as they were unwilling to take the oath 
of allegiance, their proposition was not regarded favorably. 
December 17, the steamer Maple Leaf came in, bringing not 
only Major Porter, the paymaster, but also the Rev. E. B. 
Willson of Salem, Mass., the new Chaplain for the Twenty- 
fourth. Just down from his Northern home, the change to 
the skies and climate of Florida must have been strange to 
him. As there was evidence of misuse of express matter sent 
down on the ]\Iaple Leaf, the craft was searched with a con- 
sequent arrest of several white and colored employees, who 
evidently had broken open packages intrusted to their care, 
but for other people. On the 19th the three companies at the 
fort were paid off, and many of the men went up to the hospi- 
tal of the Tenth Connecticut to hear Chaplain Trumbull tell 
his experiences in the hands of the enemy, his story being a 
thrilling one. It was at this time that his many friends in 
the Tenth presented him with a sword and field glass. The 
21st was pay-day at the barracks, and some of the regiments 
recall the day as that on which the cavalcade of officers and 
ladies came near being stampeded by the approach of a wood- 
team, the throwing from her horse of a lady rider, and her 
rescue by one of the guard. In the evening there was a ball 
at the Florida House, attended by the officers and the North- 
ern people, who just then were repairing to St. Augustine 
in great numbers. 

The life of the regiment on Christmas Day was almost a 
repetition of that at Thanksgiving, with the small improve- 
ment in rations at dinner, and in the evening a performance 
at the Olympic Theatre, which the soldier boys pretty well 
filled. Sunday, the 27th, marked the first appearance of the 

Dec. 30, '63. Lieutenant Walker Shot. 249 

new Chaplain, Mr. Willson, in the pulpit, that of the St. George 
■Episcopal. ]\Iusic was furnished by the Regimental Glee 
Club, and one of the liand played the organ. The men who 
were present liked their new officer very much, and were 
rather pleased that his position, so long vacant, was at last 
filled. No day in the St. Augustine stay made a deeper im- 
pression on the regiment than the 30tli, for on this came the 
attack on the party that had gone out to chop wood. As told 
by a participant, the story is vividly portrayed : 

It was reported that Dickison's cavalry had got this side 
of the St. John's River, and it was thought possible that they 
might make a descent on our wood-choppers with the inten- 
tion of capturing them. As wood is very scarce within our 
lines, the choppers, twenty in number, have been cutting 
about a mile outside the pickets, with a guard from the 
Twenty-fourth and the Tenth Connecticut of thirty men, alter- 
nately. Wednesday, the 30th, the choppers and escort were 
proceeding out, as usual, with their advance guard thrown 
out, when, as they neared the chopping-place, a party of the 
enemy sprang out of the bushes behind the guard, and at the 
same moment another party in front of them, completely hem- 
ming them in. The choppers and the reserves were a hun- 
dred yards in the rear. So sudden was the attack there was 
very little for the men to do but take to the bushes, which 
many of them did, so escaping death or capture, for the reb- 
els were shouting, ' ' Surrender and we won 't hurt you. ' ' As 
the advance guard, this day, was furnished by the Connecticut 
regiment, luck was on the side of the Twenty-fourth. One 
man of the Tenth, Wm. A. Burns, was killed, and twenty-one 
were captured. Of the Twenty-fourth, three men were taken 
prisoners, Bullock and Taylor of Company K, and E. R. West 
of A, while Lieutenant 0. H. Walker of Company D was 
mortally wounded, he being in command of the party. Bul- 
lock and West died the following May in Andersonville. 

In a formal report, dated January 1, 1864, concerning the 
skirmish of the 30th ult., Colonel Osborn says : 

During the past month it has been necessary to send the 
wood-choppers about two miles outside the lines to procure 

250 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Kegiment. 

fire-wood, the supply within the lines having become ex- 
hausted. At first, having learned from my scouts that there 
were no rebel forces east of the St. John's River, I furnished 
them with a guard of only ten men. About three weeks ago, 
however, I heard rumors that some cavalry were expected to 
cross the river very soon for conscripts and deserters, and 
I accordingly increased the guard to thirty men, requiring the 
twenty choppers to carry arms also, making fifty armed men, 
which, after careful consideration, I deemed an ample force. 
I constantly sent out scouts to ascertain whether the enemy 
had crossed the river, intending, if he should come in this 
neighborhood, to go out and attack him. 

On Wednesday morning, the 30th ult., one of the scouts 
came in and reported to me that he could find no indication of 
any cavalry in the vicinity. On that very morning, however, 
the guard, which was moving cautiously out to its position, 
with an advance thrown out, was suddenly attacked by a 
party on their right and front, who had been lying concealed 
in the low palmetto shrubs with which the whole country is 
covered, and which furnishes such perfect concealment that a 
man might pass within twenty feet of such a party and never 
suspect its presence. The guard halted, faced towards the 
enemy, and prepared to return the fire, when they received 
another volley from a corresponding position on the left of 
the line of march. This, unfortunately, dangerously wounded 
Lieut. Oliver H. Walker, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Vol- 
unteers, who was in charge of the party, which threw them 
into some confusion. At this moment a body of cavalry was 
seen on each flank,, riding rapidly to get into their rear. This 
increased the disorder caused by the loss of the officer, and 
they commenced falling back. In doing this, having about 
two miles to go before they reached the Outposts, and being 
closely pursued by the cavalry, they became somewhat scat- 
tered and lost twenty-four men taken prisoners. News of this 
affair having been brought to me on brigade drill, in less than 
an hour after I received the report of the scout mentioned 
above, I immediately went out with the Twenty-fourth Massa- 
chusetts, but the enemy had gone. As they had two hours the 
start of me I did not pursue them. If I had had a company 
of cavalry, I am confident I could have overtaken them, and 
not only have rescued my own men, but could have captured 
some besides, for from their trail they were mounted on small 

Jan. '64. New Year's Day. 251 

I deeply regret to report such an unsatisfactory result of 
this affair, but I impute it all to the unfortunate circumstance 
of Lieutenant Walker's being wounded. Had he remained 
unhurt, I am confident he would have beaten the enemy off, 
for he is a brave and skillful officer, and had his men well in 
hand when he fell. I am grieved to say that his wound is con- 
sidered a verv serious one bv the surgeon in attendance. — 
R. R., Vol. 28, Part 1, page 752. 

Never was there a better illustration of the difference in- 
duced by the point of view than in the Federal and Confede- 
rate estimate of the above incident. To our forces it was a 
skirmish; to the rebels, according to General R. B. Thomas, 
commanding the district, a "brilliant exploit." While the 
rebels had seventy officers and men they allude to the Union 
soldiers as a "superior force." No word is given to the ad- 
vantages arising from their ambuscade, but special mention is 
made of the bravery of the two commissioned officers. In 
grandiloquent terms. General Thomas refers to the affair as 
one of regular recurrence. The sword of our lamented Lieu- 
tenant Walker was presented to Sergt. J. S. Poer of Dicki- 
son's company for "his gallantry." 

With a vivid recollection of the affair of the 30th no chop- 
ping party went out on the last day of 1863, a year which, 
beginning for the regiment in the Old North State, had given 
the men an extended taste of the South State, and, later, had 
seen them favorably placed in Florida, is ended. 


New Year's Day in St. Augustine was an institution. To 
begin with, it was the first anniversary of the Emancipation 
I'roclamation or of its application, and the colored population 
made the most of it ; nor was the celebration confined to them, 
since the regimental bands played the old year out and the 
new one in. A stage or platform had been erected on the 
plaza for the speakers and, at 11 a.m., the colored people, sev- 
eral hundred in number, came marching up to the stage by 
twos, old and young, and of both sexes. Union officers and 

252 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

men were also present and, first in order, was the reading of 
the famous proclamation ; the bands played, Judge Stickney 
presided, Chaplains Trumbull and Willson spoke, and the col- 
ored preachers told the people what was expected of them. 
The negro children sang songs, such as "John Brown's 
Body," "The Year of Jubilo," etc. Then came an invitation 
for the officers of both regiments, the two bands, and other 
people to partake of a collation prepared in the Court House 
Hall. The two bands united in playing Hail Columbia, and 
then all started for the building. The negroes formed on the 
plaza, while the officers and musicians devoured the food with- 
in the hall. The soldiers standing around had infinite amuse- 
ment in hearing the colored folks sing their own peculiar 
melodies. After the bands had filled up with food, they came 
out and again tuned their instruments, giving many national 
airs, ending with "Yankee Doodle." Later came amusements 
of their own in the several quartei-s of the companies. Gan- 
der or stag-dances were the order of the evening, and if the 
music was primitive, the ' ' light fantastic ' ' was energetic, and 
the fun ran merrily on till a late hour, and well it was that it 
should, for as yet these men realize nothing of the exactions 
of the approaching Battle Summer and, ere the year is ended, 
many a brave boy in blue who on this New Year's night is so 
blithe and gay, will sleep beneath the soil of Old Virginy, an 
ofi'ering for his country's need. 

This month also is to prove quite uneventful save as the sub- 
ject of re-enlistment is considered. The Government needed 
trained soldiers, and these men with their experience gained 
in actual service, were worth many times their number of raw 
recruits, hence the inducements ofl:ered: long furloughs, big 
bounties and fine chances for promotion ; it took considerable 
determination to withstand the temptations. Many a man 
who, in diary and letter, recorded his decision to go home and 
stay when his time was up, recanted and ended the delibera- 
tions by adding his name to the list of veterans who would 
see the campaign through. One young man wrote thus to his 

Jan. '64. 



home, "I think I have done my duty to my country. Money 
is no object to me with such a hard life as I have led the past 
two years. Therefore, I decline binding myself for another 
three years, though I have no idea the war will last that 
length of time. * * After all, when the war is over, I 
think I shall feel much better than if I had not enlisted; 
enough better, indeed, to pay me for all of the suffering thus 
far." Yet this same man later signed the re-enlistment roll 
with his comrades, and was one of the bravest in the terrible 


campaign of 1864. All sorts of motives promoted enlist- 
ments. Captain Amory of I relates with great pleasure the 
story of a call he had from Fitzgerald at the very end of the 
excitement, the man asking how many men in the company 
had signed the roll. On being told that forty-nine had agreed 
to fight it out, he again asked, "And is it a fact, Captain, that 
if fifty sign, ye can go home with them ? ' ' Being assured 
that such was the case, the warm-hearted soldier said, "Then 
I'm goin' to put down me name. I wasn't goin' to do it, 
but I want ye to have the fun of a trip home wi' the b'ys," 
and the name of Dennis is found with the other immortals. 

254 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Just a little before this time Colonel Osborn had addressed 
a letter to General Gillmore suggesting the propriety of 
organizing a regiment of loyal Floridians for the defense of 
the State. He mentions the presence in St. Augustine of 
refugees who would gladly embrace the opportunity, and the 
existence of more still in Fernandina and Port Royal. He 
thinks the rebel cause is losing ground in that part of the 
State held by the Union forces, and that with a regiment 
started, enlistments would be rapid. Also, he mentions the 
dissatisfaction existing in the ranks of the Confederate sol- 
diers in Florida, and that the projected matter would draw 
many recruits by way of desertion from the immediate troops 
of the enemy. He thinks that the State is now ready to listen 
to reason, and with a little management would resume her 
place in the nation. 

To the communication of Colonel Osborn, General Truman 
Seymour replies from Hilton Head Jan. 2, 1864 : 

Colonel : Your communication of the 20th ult. is just 
received. I will take the first occasion that offers to repre- 
sent fully to the Major-General commanding your views, with 
which my own coincide. The organization of native Florid- 
ians must cause great disgust in and, if actively employed, 
great inconvenience to the Southern cause. From every 
source accounts come in of increasing distress among the 
rebels, and this year, if well improved, will doubtless see an 
end to the Rebellion. 

An interesting entry for the 2d is that ice formed an inch 
thick the night before, a fall of fifty degrees in thirty-six 
hours. On the 3d came the paymaster to the barracks, and 
in the forenoon Lieutenant Walker, wounded Dec. 30th, died 
at the home of Mr. Gardner, where he had boarded. The compa- 
nies in the fort were paid the 4th, and on the 5th there were 
funeral services for Lieutenant Walker at his former boarding 
place. The band escorted the body to the Maple Leaf, play- 
ing a dirge on the way. From Hilton Head the remains were 
to go directly to Massachusetts. With others, the name of the 

Jan. '64, Re-enlistment. 255 

Lieutenant appears on a memorial tablet placed in Berkeley 
Temple, Boston, late in 1864. During these days, so soon 
after the December episode, extra guards accompanied the 
wood-choppers on their trips beyond the lines. Jan. 6th 
returned Lieutenant Ordway to his company, CI, he having 
been absent for some time on detached service; his men 
greeted him with cheers, and at the same time the men of the 
Tenth Connecticut were shouting themselves hoarse over the 
coming back to them of their beloved Lieutenant-Colonel Leg- 
gett, with, as they said, "a new leg," having lost at Wagner 
the one nature gave. 

Sunday, the 10th, General Gillmore and staff arrived on 
the Ben De Ford, or came on the same as far as the bar ; in a 
small boat the remainder of the way. The General visited 
the fort, and was present at the dress-parade in the evening. 
It was on this day that General Gillmore addressed a letter to 
Colonel Osborn, requesting him to announce to his regiment 
and the Tenth Connecticut that all veteran volunteers re- 
enlisting will be sent home in a body to enjoy their thirty 
days' furlough in their own State. An officer will be sent at 
once to muster them in and a steamer will convey them to New 
York as soon as their furloughs can be made out. Also a 
commissioned officer, not to exceed one for every fifty men who 
re-enlist, will be allowed to go North with the men, and will 
have leave of absence or orders issued to them for that pur- 
pose. The foregoing was read at a review on the 11th, or its 
equivalent was given to the men orally by General Gillmore, 
who went back to Hilton Head in the afternoon. The appear- 
ance of the General in camp and his representations had an 
inspiriting effect on re-enlistments. The next day at the fort 
Lieutenant Barnard made an address with reference to the 
subject, and Captain Richardson introduced Chaplain Will- 
son, who gave a "homespun" talk, which was very effective. 
Notices are posted up to .the effect that tickets for Boston, via 
Stonington, are for sale, and baggage is checked through. The 
other reads, "Ho! for New York and Boston, Massachusetts. 

256 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Fifteen more men wanted to fill up the company. Walk up 
to the Captain's office and settle." 

On the 23d. Colonel Osborn received permission to organize 
a regiment of Florida cavalry. Having been informed of the 
proximity of rebel cavalry, the Colonel sent out Companies E, 
F and K, one hundred men under Captain Maker, some fifteen 
miles into the country, if possible, to intercept them. They 
returned the next day, bringing a prisoner, one Pacetti, 
brother of the local barber, who was himself a suspect, and 
later was sent outside the lines. 

No better ending to this Florida January can be had than 
the following extract from one of Colonel Osborn 's letters, 
written on the 30th: 

I presume you have sleighing, skating, cold fingers, blue 
noses, and all the accompaniments of a Boston winter, for I 
am told that it is a very severe one, so you can hardly imagine 
the perfect beauty of a day like this, when we sit on the 
piazza in the shade, after dinner, admiring the flowers, and 
asking ourselves if this can be January. 1 will put some 
violets into this letter, for I am told that they will preserve 
their fragrance for a long time. Also, some lovely yellow jes- 
samine, which I admired so much on St. Helena Island, if I 
can get them. They are just beginning to blossom, but are 
not very plenty. 

One more month begun in the old Spanish town. There 
are calls and horseback rides for the officers along with the 
Northern ladies who are spending the winter in the flowery 
land. For the men, there is the usual routine with an occa- 
sional variation, as on the 2d of February, when, at 7 a.m., 200 
men of the Twenty-fourth, under Captain Richardson, are 
sent out on the Picolata road after cattle. Crossing the river 
on a scow, and accompanied by certain deserters as guides, the 
march was along roads abounding, at times, in water ' ' as high 
as one's knees," at other affording tolerable footing. The 
trip was not particularly eventful, though there were several 
interviews with the natives who were on their way to town to 

Feb. 7, '64. 



sell farm products, some of which the men took without pay- 
ing for, but for Avhich Lieutenant Foster made up to the peo- 
ple at the running- prices. A squad of men accompanied their 
guide several miles further than the main party went, for the 
purpose of getting- the family and furniture of said guide. 
The expedition camped with pickets thrown out, and with all 
care talcen to avoid surprise. A man with sugar for Dicki- 
son's Cavalry Avas apprehended, and two rebel soldiers, one 

Etching by H. B. McLt-llan, Co. A. 


of them just down from Virginia on a furlough, were also 
taken. After getting together forty-five head of cattle, the 
men started back, reaching town, tired but happy, entering 
St. Augustine whistling merry tunes and ready for supper, 
roll-call and rest. 


Sunday, February 7th, Chaplain Trumbull of the Tenth 
Connecticut preached a telling discourse to his men, and 
among his hearers were many from the Twenty-fourth, and 


258 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

the same gave Avonderful impetus to re-enlisting. The Chap- 
lain himself tells the story in part as follows : 

The text was: "Shall your brethren go to war and shall 
ye sit here?" Numbers xxxii, 6. At first I gave Hebrew 
illustrations and situations, then came down to the applica- 
tion as to the going of the regiment to the front and doing 
its part. It was evident that the Bible parallel set before the 
men in this case reached their hearts. Officers and men vied 
with each other in expressions of agreement with me. One 
prominent officer who had been forward in his complainings 
over the contemplated move, now said that he had felt this 
way all along, and was glad that the Chaplain was looking at 
it in the same light. My Colonel requested the sermon for 
publication in order that it might be carefully read by all the 
regiment. The next day the surgeon in charge of the conva- 
lescent camp came to me asking, "Chaplain, what did you 
preach about yesterday! I was kept up till near midnight 
making out discharges for officers who wanted to go back to 
their commands. When I asked the reason they said they had 
been down to church, and heard a sermon that gave them a 
different view of their duty. ' ' 

Some of the enlisted men said grimly, "The Chaplain's 
spoiling for a fight," but the current was too strong for any- 
one to make head against it. The sermon, as printed and dis- 
tributed, was entitled, "Desirableness of Active Ser- 
vice." Months afterwards, when campaigning in Virginia, 
and we were moving by the right to take our places in the 
trenches before Petersburg, we were overtaken by a violent 
thunderstorm, so severe with its blinding flashes of lightning 
and its torrents of rain that we were compelled to halt, drop 
down in the mud and wait for daylight. In the morning as 
I moved along the wavy line of reclining soldiers, I was 
greeted good-naturedly by a soldier with the words, that 
could be heard far and near, "I suppose, Chaplain, this is 
what you would call the desirableness of active service, ' ' then 
he chuckled over the general laugh that greeted his sally. 

As a sequel to the Chaplain's effort more than fifty men in 
his own regiment put their names down at once. On the 8th, 
Colonel Osborn chronicles the enlistment of ten Floridians in 
the regiment of cavalry then forming. The following day the 

Feb. '64. Re-exlistmext. 259 

news came that Jacksonville had been occupied in force, and 
that Generals Gillmore and Seymour were both there. Feb- 
ruary 10, the number of re-enlistments for the regiment stood 
at 352. When they were mustered the next day, the list rose 
to 395. ^Men signed the papers one day who the day before 
had declared they would not under any circumstances. Some 
things are contagious. The record for the fort as preserved 
by one who was there is wonderfully even, thus : Company C 
had -47 ; G, 46 ; and I, 47 ; or 140 from the three companies. 
On the 12th the re-enlisted men turned in their guns and 
equipments, and were allowed to act pretty much as they 
liked. The 13th saw the departure of the veterans on the 
Monohansett, 406 in number : and the Tenth Connecticut, 175 
strong, went on board the ]\Iary Burton. All of the boys who 
were not going home were out to see those who were depart- 
ing, and the- townspeople, also, were not lacking. Hearty 
cheers were exchanged by the men going and those remain- 
ing. Colonel Osborn sent Company B back for the stand of 
colors, and as they came down the landing the enthusiasm 
was great. It is this moment that Chaplain H. Clay Trum- 
bull seizes for an illustration and certain eloquent words 
particularly applicable to the Massachusetts men: 

When the re-enlisted veterans of the Tenth Connecticut and 
the Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts were going North at the same 
time from St. Augustine ou their veteran furlough, there 
was a lively scene at the pier where lay the transports that 
were to take them to Hilton Head for a new start homeward. 
Those who were to go were exchanging hearty greetings with 
those who were to stay ; for even a brief absence in war times 
involved peculiar possibilities, and was exceptionally im- 
pressive. Residents of the old Spanish city were also present 
to bid good-bye to their friends, or to watch the veterans de- 
part. All seemed absorbed in each other's words and ways 
as they chatted merrily together, crowding the head of the 
pier, when the sound of drums and tifes, coming up the street, 
called the attention of all. Permission had been gi-anted the 
veterans of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts to take with 
them one stand of their regimental colors on their veteran fur- 


Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

lough, and these were now being borne to the transport under 
a guard of honor. Instantly every voice in that crowd was 
hushed. Without orders, the soldiers drew themselves into 
line on either side of the pier and stood at attention with bared 
heads and reverent mien as the colors and the guard moved 
down the length of the extended pier to the waiting vessel. 


Every soldier-heart was thrilled and eyes glistened with tear- 
ful pride and tender affection as the dear old flag was before 
them once more. 

As the vessel steamed away from the landing and passed 
the fort, they were greeted Avith a salute from the men left 

Feb. '64. Re-enlistment. 261 

behind. Soon the two steamers were outside the bar and were 
forcing their way northward with their precious burden of 
patriotic soldiers. Did space permit, it would be a pleasure 
to follow eveiy one of these men to his own home and to re- 
cord the greetings there received, then to accompany him back 
to his scene of duty. Suffice it to state that the men landed 
at Hilton Head, there go into camp, sign for their bounties, 
and on the 15th are paid ; they leave Hilton Head at about 4 
p.m. of the 16th for the North. On the 18th they encountered 
a snow-storm and sighed for the warmth of St. Augustine; 
reached New York at 8 a.m. of the 19th ; late in the afternoon, 
on board the steamer Empire State, they took the Fall River 
line for Massachusetts, and the 20th found them in Boston. 

Boston was ready to give the veterans an appreciative re- 
ception, and the following from the Evening Transcript of 
February 20th, 1864, sets forth how it was done : 

Four hundred and fifty brave volunteers of the Twenty- 
fourth (N. E. Guards) Regiment, who have again enlisted to 
see the end of the war, and, accordingly, have been granted a 
short respite from active service, arrived here at 9.30 this 
morning from New York by the Old Colony and Fall River 
Railroad. One week ago today the whole regiment was at St. 
Augustine, Florida, where those of the command not with the 
returned detachment are still posted. These number about 
200 men. Portions of all the companies are comprised in the 
body which now comes home to pass an honorable furlough. 
Company B has sent the most men, fifty-three in number; 
Company I comes next with fifty-two patriotic volunteers. 
The officers in command of the different companies are as fol- 
lows: A, Captain Redding, commanding the detachment; B, 
Captain G. W. Gardner, Second Lieutenant Williams ; C, Cap- 
tain Bell, Second Lieutenant Perkins ; D, Captain Nichols ; 
E, First Lieutenant Sargent; F, G and H, no officers; I, Cap- 
tain Amory, Second Lieutenant Wheeler ; K, First Lieutenant 

The boys of the Twenty-fourth, as they appear today, are 
in the best of spirits and trim. They had been stationed at 
St. Augustine for the four months previous to leaving that 
place. (The Transcript resume of the service of the regiment 

262 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

is omitted.) It was natural that the return of the veterans, 
who had proved their bravery on so many well-contested fields, 
should excite unwonted enthusiasm in the community that 
sent them forth, and among the organizations which had aided 
in the formation of this noble band of citizen soldiers. The 
Twenty-fourth was emphatically an off-shoot of the New Eng- 
land Guards, and, therefore, the Guards very appropriately 
took a prominent part in the reception today. The Forty- 
fourth (nine months men), springing from the same paren- 
tage, likewise pertinently joined in the festivities. After the 
Twenty-fourth had breakfasted at the Beach Street barracks, 
they were received by an escort consisting as follows : Brigade, 
Germania and Gilmore 's bands ; Independent Cadets, Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Holmes, which turned out in full numbers; 
South Boston State Guards, sixty muskets; members of the 
Forty-fourth Regiment, Colonel "Lee, about fifty in number; 
New England Guards, 150 strong, in citizens' dress, com- 
manded by Captain J. P. Bradlee and Lieutenants Howe, Sal- 
tonstall, Atkins and Hunt of the Forty-fourth, 450 re-enlisted 
men of the Twenty-fourth. 

About 12 m. the regiment and their escort took up the line 
of march for Beach Street, and passed into Chauncy, thence 
to Essex, through Boylston to Arlington, to Beacon Street, 
making a halt at the State House to receive Governor Andrew 
and other State officials; the route was then directly to Fan- 
euil Hall to partake of the collation prepared by the city. 
Along the route the veterans were received as such patriotic 
and self-sacrificing men deserved to be received. 

The Faneuil Hall banquet was spread at the expense of the 
city and on the initiative of Alderman W. W. Clapp, who pre- 
sided, and, after the viands had been discussed, he welcomed 
the veterans to the city and hall and introduced Governor An- 
drew, who said : " I ascend the rostrum to salute the men of 
the Twenty-fourth Regiment with all the honor that the old 
Bay State has paid or can pay to her bravest and best. The 
doors of Faneuil Hall are wide open to receive you to the 
grateful hospitality of the city of Boston." The Governor 
alluded to the last time he had received the regiment ; it was 
in December, '61,* at Annapolis, Md., together with other 

*The (governor was wrong in that his Annapolis visit was made Nov. 
17, '61, at which time the Twenty-fourth was still at Readville. 

Feb. '64. Re- enlistment. 263 

Massachusetts regiments, in the presence of the Secretaries of 
"War, Navy, and State, along with other civic and military 
ofificers, recalling the praises they had received. Replying to 
certain taunts made by a certain United States senator con- 
cerning the services of the soldiers in the East, he continued: 
' ' The Army of the Potomac shall ever receive undying honors 
for meeting with heroic bravery the best armies the rebels 
could form. Not only has a large portion of ^lassachusetts 
soldiers been connected with the Potomac Army, but in every 
army of every department. She helped to win North Caro- 
lina; she helped to win South Carolina. She helped to gain 
Florida, and who, more than she, under the leadership of Gen- 
eral Butler, opened New Orleans'? Who more than the Mas- 
sachusetts Thirty-third, in the recent miracle of Lookout 
Mountain, under the leadership of Hooker, himself a son of 
the old Bay State, startled the rel^el hosts with the thunder of 
the skies. Who opened the Mississippi — a question every 
school boy can answer, let alone statesmen in the halls of Con- 
gress — but one N. P. Banks and his IMassachusetts boys, in 
loving and friendly rivalry with the brave troops of the West 
and the Middle States. ' ' His Excellency also referred in most 
complimentary terms to the services of General Stevenson, the 
former commander of the Twenty-fourth, and also the latter 's 
receiving into his brigade the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, a 
colored regiment. At the conclusion of his address the men 
cheered him most heartily. Then came some words from 
their first Colonel, General Stevenson, and when was there a 
time when his ' ' boys ' ' did not hear him with delight ? The 
cheers that greeted him must have been a pleasure to his loyal 
heart. His father, the Hon. J. Thomas Stevenson, had in 
many ways endeared himself to the men of the regiment and, 
when he arose, he, too, gained an appreciative reception. 
After his remarks the men were dismissed to go to their 
respective homes for the delights of a furlough, something 
that only a soldier can fully appreciate. 

264 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


In Florida there was still the regimental organization, and 
on Sunday, the 14tli, Chaplain Willson preached and orders 
came for the Twenty-fourth, except two companies, to move 
to Picolata. Those left in the city were to garrison Fort 
Marion. The bearer of the orders from General Gillmore was 
John Hay, private secretary of President Lincoln, and the 
subsequent famous Secretary of State in the cabinets of Pres- 
idents McKinley and Roosevelt. Accepting the statements of 
competent observers that Florida was ready for re-instate- 
ment in the Union, the President had commissioned Hay as 
Major and sent him down to accompany the expedition that 
Gillmore was fitting out to exploit the State of Florida. 
Preparations to leave were made at once, while Lieutenant 
Ordway was sent to Jacksonville for confirmation of orders. 
The 16th, the latter returned with orders from General Sey- 
mour, who had l^een placed in command of the district of 
Florida, to proceed to Jacksonville at once and take command 
of the post. The 18tli of February saw the last of the regi- 
ment as an organization in St. Augustine, for it sailed at day- 
light on the General Hunter, arriving at Jacksonville at 5 
p.m. Old friends were found among the officers of the Fifty- 
fifth IMassachusetts, some of them former members of the 
Twenty-fourth. The officers and men were glad, rather than 
otherwise, at the prospect of active service, the long rest hav- 
ing quite restored their normal tone. The 20th there was no 
difficulty in realizing the cannonading in the battle of Olustee,* 
then in progress. It proved to be a Union defeat, the enemy 
calling the engagement "Ocean Pond." This battle, fought 
forty-four miles due west of Jacksonville, was the result of the 
rashness of General Seymour, and was undertaken contrary 
to the express orders of General Gillmore. The Fortieth 
Massachusetts [Colonel Guy V. Henry's] was one of the most 
prominent in the engagement, and the Fifty-fourth IMassa- 

*Colonel Os))orn, in a letter, mentions this phenomenon thus : "As 
much by pressure upon the body as upon the drum of the ear. ' ' 

March '64. 



chiisetts, with the First North Carolina [both black], saved 
the army from total rout : at least this is the statement of Hor- 
ace Greeley. The same author says of Olustee that it was 
Braddock's defeat repeated after the lapse of a century. 

As General Seymour was reported in retreat, followed 
closely by the foe, it was necessary to fortify at once. Ac- 
cordingly, every available man was set at work with a shovel. 
The 22d, General Seymour was reported as making a stand 

Pencil sketch by Lieut. J. M. Barnard, Co. G. 


at Cedar Creek, six miles distant. Every day brings rein- 
forcements, and on the 25th appears General R. S. Foster, not 
''our" General Foster, the early North Carolina leader, but 
one whom the Twenty-fourth will follow on many a field, 
and with him came General Adelbert Ames. Sunday 
the Chaplain preached in the Baptist Church, and on 
the next day, the 29th, the Chaplain accompanied to his grave 
a negro soldier, shot by order of a court martial for mutiny. 

In the annals of the regiment, IMarch, 1864, played a very 
small part. More than one-half of the organization was on 
furlough in the North, and the remainder, doing garrison 
duty in Jacksonville, was not in the active military life which 
wins renown. There was plenty of work and, while building 

266 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regimext. 

breastworks and keeping one's camp well policed, are emi- 
nently desirable and useful, those committed to such tasks are 
never specially happy thereat. Jacksonville, where the fortunes 
of war had stationed the Twenty-fourth, was then, and is still, 
the most important place in the peninsula which de Leon 
so beautifully named. Located at the elbow of the St. John's 
River, on the west bank, twenty-five miles from its mouth, it 
seems a little strange that more account of its importance was 
not made bv the Union forces earlier in the war. It was first 
occupied in March, 1863, by the First South Carolina Regi- 
ment [colored], under the command of Col. T. W. Higginson, 
but, at the direction of General Hunter, it was soon after 
abandoned and burned, to the terrible discomfiture of the 
Union inhabitants, who, by this ruthless act, were reduced to 
severe suffering. Feb. 8th, '64, it was again occupied with 
very little resistance by the Federal forces under General Tru- 
man Seymour, and it was this move of the latter officer that 
brought the Twenty-fourth to the place. 

"While affairs within the city were quiet, nothing more doing 
on the 1st than a review of the troops by General Gillmore, 
those at the intrenchments, several miles out, were reminded 
of the proximity of the enemy. Colonel Henry led his For- 
tieth Massachusetts (mounted) out on a reconnoissance, and 
had little difficulty in finding his foe. Indeed, it was a char- 
acteristic of the Johnny Reb everywhere to be so near that 
very little searching was necessary to find him. On the sec- 
ond day General Seymour ordered a commission to sit on 
Tuesdays and Saturdays to consider the excuses of officers 
who had been absent without leave. Of this commission Col- 
onel Osborn was Chairman and ^lajor Charles H. Hooper, the 
third member, was recorder. Of these early ]\Iarch days Col- 
onel Osborn writes: 

Military matters here remain pretty much the same. The 
enemy are about six miles out and manifest no intention of 
attacking us. We are strongly fortified, have an abundance 
of men, and feel quite secure. In the meantime, I am living 

March '64. Jacksonville. 267 

very quietly in a snug little house which I have taken. It is 
by no means so large and elegant as my St. Augustine resi- 
dence, but I like it very well. It is two stories high, with four 
rooms on a floor and a kitchen adjoining. In front, each story 
has a piazza, over which the yellow jessamine runs in profu- 
sion, covered with flowers. The street is pleasant and is 
pretty wide, bordered with shade trees. In the yard are 
oleanders, crape myrtles, flowering aloes, and other southern 
plants of which I do not know the names. Lieutenant Ed- 
mands, Post Adjutant; Lieutenant Sweet, Provost Marshal, 
and Lieutenant Thompson, Post Quartermaster, live with me, 
and Major Hooper, w^ho lives in camp, joins our mess. We 
find, as we always do, a great many friends, and rarely sit 
down to table without a guest. ]My life here is very quiet, and 
I do not find as much business to do as at St. Augustine. 

March 4th Adjutant Wm. L. Horton, who was so severely 
wounded at Newbern, came back, though his stay was to be 
brief, for he resigned on the 12th. March 17th Captain 
Maker returned from Hilton Head, and the 27th brought Gen- 
eral J. P. Hatch to supersede General Seymour, who was 
ordered to Washington to appear before the Congressional 
Committee on the Conduct of the War. The next day the 
mess of Colonel Osborn and fellow officers was broken up, and 
the former went to board with ]\Irs. Zewadski. General Gill- 
more came in on the Ben De Ford. ]\Iarch 29th, but in the 
night w^ent to Palatka. In the later days of the month there 
was much speculation as to the future disposition of the regi- 
ment. The re-enlisted and furloughed men having been 
ordered to report in Washington instead of Jacksonville, nat- 
urally the query rose as to the reasons. It was well known 
that Gillmore did not wish to lose the regiment, and so would 
not permit the same to go in a body, when the veterans went 
away, but apparently his plans for the retention of the 
Twenty-fourth in his department were to be headed off. 
Some thought and hoped that the hand of Burnside was in the 
ease, and that they were again to* follow their favorite leader. 
There were rumors and theories sufficient to occupy all of the 
spare time of officers and men, but facts were exceedingly 

268 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


^Meanwhile, those who were away on furloughs were happy 
beyond the power of pen to describe. Never had home seemed 
half so dear as when they saw it through -eyes that had been 
opetied wide in the bitter experience of war. Mother's cook- 
ing, good as it always had been, now was better still, and every 
one had a pleasant word for the boy in blue, one who was 
willing to stand between the Government and its assailants. 
Though his uniform had become very common in the North- 
ern world, yet to some one every wearer was a hero, and the 
soldier enjoyed the distinction accorded him. As, however, 
the day of his departure neared, there began to come a chok- 
ing sensation in his throat. Though he knew not the exac- 
tions of the coming season, yet he was certain that the death 
struggle of the Rebellion was at hand, and he must steel him- 
self for his part therein. How tenderly he said "Good-bye" 
to father, mother and the companions of earlier days; if a 
father himself, with what unutterable longings he took the 
last glance at the faces of wife and children, and turned his 
course southward. Thus they were gradually centering on 
the appointed rendezvous, as their terms of absence grew to 
an end, all the better and stronger for the favors accorded 
them by the Government. Of one such returning brave, 
Chaplain Trumbull w^rote : 

As I was returning from my home, after a brief leave of 
absence on one occasion, I saw a young soldier waving a 
kindly good-bye to friends as our train left the station. He 
was in the seat just before me. As the cars moved off he 
dropped his head on the back of the seat in front of him and 
sobbed as though his heart would break. Presently, he mas- 
tered his feelings and, straightening himself up, he sat with a 
stern face and fixed expression as a cold, immovable soldier. 
Reaching forward, I touched him on the shoulder, and asked 
tenderly : ' ' Have you been long in the service, my friend 1 ' ' 
"Two and a half years," he replied, "and now I have 
enlisted for three years more. I've just had my thirty- days 
at home, and I am going back to my regiment. I can move 

March '64. Washington. 269 

forward under fire without flinching, I can see men di'op at 
my side, wounded or dead, and not quiver, I can suffer all I 
have to in camp or on the march and not mind it, but I can't 
bid good-bye to my wife and children for three years and not 
make a babv of mvself . ' ' 


From different parts of Massachusetts and from further 
points, in IMaine even, the veterans of the Twenty-fourth had 
been repairing for several days to the Beach Street barracks 
of Boston, whence, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel 
Stevenson, the southward route was begun March 22d, at 5 
p.m., via Fall Kiver and the steamer Empire State, bound 
for Xew York city, reaching the latter place at 8 a.m. of the 
23d. Thence the party crossed to Jersey City and took the 
train for Philadelphia, where all had supper at the Volunteer 
Refreshment saloon maintained by the ladies of that patri- 
otic city. The food, consisting of bread, butter, boiled meat 
and coft'ee, was highly appreciated, and the men were enthu- 
siastic in their approval of the institution. From the City of 
Brotherly Love the veterans rode to Baltimore in baggage cars 
which had been seated for the transportation of troops, and 
had an all-night ride to the ^Monumental City, reaching the 
same the morning of the 24th. ^Marching through streets that 
three years before had resounded with the attack on the Sixth 
^Massachusetts Regiment, they had breakfast at the Soldiers' 
Rest, and thence marched to the Washington station, leaving 
the same at 11 a.m. Owing to many stops, the capital w^as not 
reached till sunset. Finding harborage in the capital bar- 
racks, they had supper and a chance to see a little ^of the city. 
There was a whole day under the shadow of the Capi- 
tol, and on the 26th the line of march was taken up for the 
Long Bridge and the Virginia side of the Potomac, ending 
at Convalescent Camp. ]March 28th a camp was staked out 
about one-fourth of a mile from that of the convalescents, and 
along the railroad running from Washington towards !^randy 

270 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Station. In the regular system of camp life, subject to the 
peculiarities of March weather, the month came to an end 
with this part of the Twenty-fourth taking distant views of 
Washington and wondering what the coming month would 
bring forth. 

April 1st Captain Redding of Company A came to camp, 
and twenty-seven recruits for the regiment appeared. On 
the 7th a serious case of small pox developed, the victim 
being John W. Pittsley of Company G, who was immediately 
removed to Washington, while his tentmates were compelled 
to move their quarters to a nearby hill, near which their 
rations were subsequently carried. The unfortunate Pittsley 
died on the 14th of the month. Some of the men found a 
deal of pleasure and derived much benefit from the ministra- 
tions of the Christian Commission in the Convalescent Camp, 
hearing among others there Dr. E. N. Kirk, the famous pas- 
tor of the Mt. Vernon Church, Boston, and Geo. H. Stuart, 
president of the Commission. The latter stated in one of the 
meetings that 2500 conversions had taken place in that chapel. 
April 12th came a move to Camp Distribution, where all were 
quartered in barracks and were safe from the rain, which fell 
profusely. After just one day's respite, the men were 
marched back to their late camping-ground, and again 
pitched their tents. The 15th, the ten companies are merged 
into five, and all march beyond Fort Richardson, and again 
encamp. The camp is in plain sight of Washington, and 
Captain Richardson is acting Major. Squalls of snow are not 
infrequent in the mid-April days, and the men are thinking 
it could not be much more wintry in old IMassachusetts. 

Just beyond the middle of the month the several companies 
went into Washington to receive their so-called ration money, 
i. e., compensation for the food they did not eat while away 
from the regiment. As this was just so much more than 
many of them had expected, it was used up pretty quickly 
by some, and often in a manner that got the users into trouble. 
On the 21st Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson puts the men 

Apeil '64. Washington. 271 

through a battalion drill, while football and boxing-gloves 
prevent the men rusting out. The boys had not a little fun 
at the expense of one poor recruit, who, during the drill, was 
so mixed that he was found successively in four different com- 
panies. That he was on earth at all must have astonished 
him. Sunday. April 24th, camp was struck and the men 
marched to Alexandria, accompanied by the Eighth Elaine, 
reaching the ancient city at sunset. Transports were at once 
boarded for some place ; rumor had it Fortress Monroe, but it 
was midnight before a start was made. Owing to the crowded 
state of the decks and the falling rain, the highest degree of 
comfort was not attained. The fortress was reached at 
3 o'clock in the morning of the 26th, and again the most of 
the men had the privilege of reviewing some of the scenes of 
the days, more than two years before, when here was finally 
arranged the famous Burnside Expedition. While the vessels 
are lying at the wharf, his old former associates were pleased 
to recognize Major Stackpole, the first Captain of Company I, 
now on staff duty. Leaving the fortress at 2 p.m., the ships 
steam up the Chesapeake to Yorktown, opposite which, at 
Gloucester Point, a landing is made at 4 p.m., the Tenth Con- 
necticut and the Eighth Maine debarking at the same time. 

]Marching back from the water some three miles, and pass- 
ing many other camps, the veterans pitched their tents by the 
side of the Eleventh ]Maine some time after dark. The 
familiar faces of Quartermaster Thompson and Lieutenant 
Ordway were seen, these officers announcing the approach of 
the remainder of the regiment from the South. There is a 
large assemblage of troops at this point, and some big project 
evidently is afoot. The 27th it is learned that the regiment 
is once more to be under the command of General Terry, a 
fact that pleases all. Drills begin at once in all their forms, 
and the Twenty-fourth is announced as in the Third Bri- 
gade, First Division of the Tenth Army Corps. The last day 
of the month was devoted largely to a review of all the troops. 
At first Generals Ames and Foster reviewed, then General 

272 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Terry rode onto the field, and he did his part; next a salute 
from the harbor announced the arrival of General Benjamin 
F. Butler, and, after his coming on the gounds, there was 
another review and finally all passed in review, so that it was 
dark by the time the men reached their quarters. The 
Twenty-fourth was mustered for pay at 9 o'clock in the even- 


Returning to that portion of the regiment left in Jackson- 
ville a month ago, the same is found doing its duty as usual. 
Perhaps the most noteworthy record for April 1st was the 
blowing up of the steamer Maple Leaf, a familiar craft to the 
regiment. She was on her way down from Palatka when she 
ran upon a torpedo, seventeen miles from Jacksonville, and 
was destroyed. On the 4th it was learned that the veterans 
had gone to Washington instead of coming directly back to 
the organization. Though nominally in the enemy's coun- 
try, life in Jacksonville was hardly more lively than that of 
the veterans in their Virginia camp. It was in these quiet 
times that an officer found time and disposition to w^ite some 
pleasant words concerning Chaplain Willson : 

"He is a man of great intelligence and refinement, genial 
and agreeable in conversation, with a keen perception of the 
ludicrous. He has commended himself to all of the officers, 
and has made his tent a place of common resort. It is very 
delightful to me to have such a refining influence present. * * 
His sermons are a great treat ; he prepares the subject, but 
speaks extemporaneously, and never fails to rivet one's atten- 
tion closely and to give me food for thought. ' ' 

April 11, word comes from Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson 
announcing his presence with the veterans near Washington, 
and on the 13th, Lieutenant Sweet went out with a flag of 
truce to escort a INIiss Dummett beyond the lines. The next 
day the regiment received pay from ]\Iajor Porter, the pay- 
master, and the Seventh New Hampshire Regiment steams 

May 1, '64. Florida and Virginia. 273 

away in the Cossack. Troops come in from Palatka on the 
15th, that place having been evacuated, in compliance with 
orders which Captain ]\Iaker had carried up two or three days 
before. April 16 the Forty-seventh and Forty-eighth New 
York departed for some point further north, and on the 19th 
came General William Birney to command the District of 
Florida. On the 22d. Colonel Osborn was relieved from his 
command of the post, his regiment having been ordered north- 
ward. In the afternoon of the 23d, the regimental baggage 
was put on board the steamer Dictator, there being a deal of 
it, including as it did the arms and equipments of the absent 
veterans. The men Avent on board after nightfall. 

Jacksonville was left behind on the 2-4th, the steamer run- 
ning down to the mouth of the river, where she anchored to 
wait for the tide. The next morning at 8.30, the bar was 
crossed and the Twenty-fourth Regiment departed from the 
Land of Flowers, reaching Hilton Head soon after dark. 
April 26th the regiment and its effects were transferred to 
the Varuna, a propeller lying in the stream. While 
awaiting orders to depart, an officer from General Gillmore 
came on board, stating that he had been informed 
that the regiment was carrying off furniture, the 
charge doubtless arising from depredations made by 
a certain regiment which left Florida before the Twenty- 
fourth did. It is needless to state that the officer had his 
labor for his pains; the Massachusetts men were not getting 
furniture that way. In the afternoon of the 27th, the Varu- 
na steamed out of the precincts of Hilton Head, and North 
Carolina with all its memories is soon to be left behind, as, 
during the 28th and 29th, the vessel ploughs her way north- 
ward. It was 4.30 p.m. of the 30th that Fortress ]\Ionroe was 
reached and Colonel Osborn went ashore to report his arrival 
to General B. F. Butler, by whom he was ordered to Glouces- 
ter Point to report to General Terry. 

May 1st, before daylight, the steamer started up York 
River and reached Gloucester Point at 9 a.m. Colonel Os- 

274 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

born at once landed and reported to General Terry, after 
which he rode out to camp and found himself in the midst of 
such a reception that he felt almost like getting home. In 
the afternoon the band went down to the landing and escorted 
the arriving portion of the regiment up to meet their fellows, 
both sides getting no end of handshakes and the heartiest 
kind of greetings. Arras and equipments were given out, and 
with their old weapons in their hands once raore one of the 
veterans says, "It seems like soldiering again." This reunion 
of the two divisions of the Twenty-fourth was almost a family 
affair; so long had the men camped, marched and fought 
together that officers and men alike welcomed the sight of 
familiar faces. But the long separation involved a world of 
extra work for those who were responsible for the munitions 
and general well-being of the organization. There were 
musters and inspections, besides no end of detail, to get the 
men where all could be accounted for. The second day of the 
month produced one of the most violent thunder-storms, 
accompanied by hail, that even that region ever Imew. The 
men had just got their shelter tents pitched when the storm 
came up ; so violent was it that the soldiers had to hold on to 
their tents to prevent their blowing away and, when doing 
this, they found the pelting of the hail grievous to bear. The 
busy surroundings in which the regiment finds itself is in 
great contrast to its former quiet and, on every hand, there 
are indications of going somewhere. Artillery is loaded upon 
the steamers on the 3d and orders for departure are received. 


Not having the gift of prescience, these men did not know 
the magnitude of the task they were about to essay. General 
Grant, like the young Lochinvar, had come out of the West, 
and like the Scotch knight he was resourceful, determined 
and bold. The campaign of the Battle Summer was care- 
fully planned, the movement along the James River being 
only one of the many steps taken Rebellionward by the sev- 

Battle Summer. 275 

eral armies organized under the careful eye of Grant. On 
this very day, the 3d of ^lay, while the men of the Tenth and 
Eighteenth Corps were receiving orders as to their duties on 
the morrow, their brothers on the Rapidan had forsaken their 
winter quarters and were pushing their way towards the Wil- 
derness. They are to advance on Richmond from the north; 
the Army of the James, under General Butler, is to make a 
demonstration from the south. The assembling of his forces 
at Yorktown and Gloucester Point had given to the Confede- 
rates the idea that another effort, like that of McClellan in 
1862, is to be made up the Peninsula. This command of But- 
ler consisted of the Tenth and Eighteenth Corps, led by Gen- 
erals Q. A. Gillmore and Wm. F. (Baldy) Smith, respectively, 
and a division of cavalry, coimnanded by General A. V. 
Kautz. . The three divisions of the Tenth Corps were led by 
Brigadier-Generals Terry, Turner and Ames, while the divis- 
ions of the Eighteenth followed Brooks, Weitzel and Hinks. 
In the Tenth Corps there were 684 officers, 16,128 enlisted 
men of infantry ; 36 officers and 1,078 men of artillery, with 
44 guns and 2 siege howitzers. The Eighteenth Corps had 
present for duty 653 officers and 14,325 enlisted men of infan- 
try, with 36 officers and 987 enlisted artillerymen, having 36 
guns. General Hinks' division consisted of colored troops. 
In Kautz 's Cavalry there were 97 officers and 2,808 enlisted 
men, with 6 guns. Also, there was a brigade of colored cav- 
alry, under the command of Colonel R. M. West, some 1,800 

The approaching days will familiarize the people of both 
North and South with many names of men and places hither- 
to unknown, but upon the mighty chessboard of war, on one 
side of which sits the incomparable player. Grant, the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment, with which is our chief concern, is 
scarcely more than a pawn. Only that one who takes a com- 
prehensive view of the entire field can describe all the plays 
and checks in the decisive game, whose premonitory moves 
are just beginning. Whatever the peril or prowess of knight 

276 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

or bishop on other parts of the board, we must keep near our 
own, whose trials and triumphs we are set to chronicle. May 
4th, Wednesday, began early in the camp of the Twenty- 
fourth, for the moment of their departure was at hand. The 
reveille sounded at 2.30, and half an hour later the men were 
taking a breakfast Avhich cooks must have risen still earlier to 
prepare. An hour afterwards all were in line ready for the 
start, but when did armies ever move just when expected? 
Arms were stacked and time for rest was given as the hours 
wore on. With the thought that active campaigning was at 
hand, men went through their effects to see what could be 
thrown away without really impoverishing, and thereby les- 
sen their burdens in the long and heated marches they felt 
were impending. As blankets and rubbers or ponchos, with 
duplicated garments like coats, pants, boots, shoes, and even 
some culinary appliances, contributed to the heaps of cast-off 
and out matter, many a man wished himself where he could 
realize on such a mass of necessities, here to be of no other use 
than to enhance the possessions of sundry white and colored 
natives who were ready to seize all that was thrown away. 
What was doing here at this point was in progress all along 
the Union line as the men made ready for the fray ; they were 
literally stripping themselves for the contest. Finally, the 
welcome "fall in" was heard, and between 1 and 2 p.m., 
along with the One Hundredth New York, old friends of 
North Carolina days, the regiment goes on board the George 
Leary. The horses of the field officers are taken on board, 
but those of the staff have to follow in a barge. 

General Kautz and his cavalrymen are already a day away 
on their raid, and the Potomac Army is fighting in the 
tangled mazes of the Wilderness, when the transport, on the 
5th, drops down the York Eiver and makes its way up the 
James. Sergeant Carruthers, of Company G, with six men, 
had been left at the Point to look after final matters. 
The river is filled with the shipping necessary for the expedi- 
tion, and those on history bent are not unmindful that they 

May 6, '64. Bermuda Hundred. 277 

are again in historic scenes. While the remnants of James- 
town are not numerous nor conspicuous, it is something to 
see where Captain John Smith, Pocaliontas and others helped 
make some of the earliest pages of American history. Prog- 
ress was slow, for many of the steamers had heavy tows and 
the waters themselves contained possibilities of mischief. 
Some thought they might land at Harrison's Landing, made 
famous in the retreat of McClellan two years before, but when 
at 6 p.m. the vessels passed on without pausing, it was evi- 
dent that something further was in the eye of the leader. 
Anchors are finally cast after dark. 


Just at daylight of the 6th the George Leary moved up to 
the south bank of the James, about one mile above the mouth 
of the Appomattox, and at Bermuda Hundred* landed its reg- 
iments. General Hinks, with his division of the Eighteenth 
Corps, at the same time was taking unopposed possession of 
City Point, for so many coming months to be the base of sup- 
plies during the siege of Petersburg. While breakfast is the 
first item on the day's programme, there are those who im- 
prove the opportunity for a plunge into the waters of the 
James, and still others who again reduce their baggage to 
lighter marching order. That the march is made in the 
enemy's country is evident from the cautious manner in 
which the brigade, Plaisted's, advances, in the entire day 

*Few if any Union soldiers ever spoke this peculiar name without 
wondering what its origin could be. "Hundreds" were divisions of 
counties, common among the p]nglish from their earliest history ; hence, 
on the settlement of Virginia and Maryland l:)y the Englisli, what would 
be more reasonable than that the latter should retain home forms and 
names? This particular Hundred, located between the James and Appo- 
mattox, received its Bermuda prefix doubtless because of the shipwreck 
on the Bermudas or Sommer Islands of Sir George Yeardley, one of the 
first settlers of Virginia and one of the early governors. With the name 
of the scene of his misfortune fresh in mind, he gave it American per- 
petuity by applying it here. 

278 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

accomplishing only six miles. In the clay's march General 
officers were evident, and the boys of the Twenty-fourth had a 
chance, which they improved, of giving three cheers as Gen- 
eral Butler rode along the lines. The daj^ had been extremely 
hot, and thereby exhausting to these soldiers after their win- 
ter's rest. Nothing was seen of the enemy, and only distant 
indications of his position. So near is the camp of the 
Twenty-fourth that during the night the sound of cars on the 
Petersburg & Richmond Railroad, doubtless transporting 
troops, is plainly heard. Bivouac for the night is had in the 
woods, the Tenth Connecticut being detailed to throw up light 
defenses in front. 

The story of May 7th is best told in the official report of 
Colonel Osborn, the same bearing date May 8th, '64 : 

I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders 
from division headquarters, the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts 
Volunteers, under my command, took its position under arms 
in the Third Brigade, Col. H. M. Plaisted, Eleventh Maine 
Volunteers, commanding, at 8 a.m.. May 7,- and shortly after- 
ward took up the line of march toward the railroad connect- 
ing Petersburg and Richmond, which was reached at about 
3 p.m. My regiment was formed on a Avide and well-traveled 
road, parallel with the railroad, and separated from it by a 
narrow belt of brush and low wood and a meadow. Three 
companies were sent into this wood to support a line of skir- 
mishers. They soon sent back a report that the skirmishers 
already occupied the railroad, when, by direction of Colonel 
Plaisted, I sent my pioneers to destroy as much of it as possi- 
ble. Previous to this the poles of a telegraph running along 
the road were cut down, the wire removed, and the insulators 
broken. At this time the right wing was sent a short distance 
to the rear to guard a cross-road. There were in that vicinity 
a sawmill and a large quantity of lumber, Avhich they burned. 
After having occupied the main road for about an hour and 
a half the left wing was ordered by Colonel Plaisted to rejoin 
the right, after calling in the detached companies, which was 
done. As these companies left the railroad a large force of 
the enemy appeared upon a hill beyond and poured a volley 
upon them, fortunately without effect. The pioneers report 
having torn up about 100 feet of rail before the order to fall 

May, '64. On Picket. 279 

back, and another line of telegraph. The bed of the road was 
very hard, and the tools which they had were of inferio)- qual- 
ity; otherwise, they would have accomplished more. They 
inform me that there was a large number of surplus rails and 
ties lying along the road. Soon after the regiment became 
reunited the brigade was dismissed and returned to camp. 
Only the detached companies were exposed to a direct fire, 
and I have therefore no casualties to report in my command. 
— R. R., Vol. 36, Part 2, p. 84. 

May 8th is Sunday, but in active campaigning there is little 
distinction in days. The regiment was turned out at 4 a.m., 
and later moved back, establishing the camp in rear of a 
breastwork just begun, and on which 250 of the men are 
detailed to dig, notwithstanding the heat, which is a reminder 
of a northern mid-summer day. At 5 o'clock the regiment 
goes on picket, relieving the Thirty-ninth Illinois. There 
was loud cheering in the rear, which subsequently was found 
to be on account of the reported victories of Grant over Lee 
on the "Wilderness route. The 9th was spent by the regi- 
ment on picket and, during the day, large forces marched out 
towards Petersburg and destroyed about six miles of the rail- 
road ; also another force demonstrated in the direction of Fort 
Darling. The Thirty-ninth Illinois and the Eighty-fifth 
Pennsylvania occupied a position at Weir Bottom Church, 
about a mile in advance of the line held by the Twenty-fourth. 
Colonel Osborn was field officer of the day. While the 
Twenty-fourth is doing picket duty another portion of the 
division, including the Twenty-third, Twenty-fifth and the 
Twenty-seventh Massachusetts, are winning the hotly con- 
tested field of Arrowfield Church. IMay 10th finds the regi- 
ment still on picket with considerable fighting near Weir Bot- 
tom Church, the enemy attacking our forces under Colonel 
Joshua B. Howell of the Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania. Others 
of Terry's division finally came to his aid with hard fighting 
for several hours. The rebels at last withdrew and sent in a 
flag of truce for the purpose of burying their dead and cai'ing 
for the wounded. The request was granted, after taking pre- 

280 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

cautions against any subterfuge on the part of the enemy. 
At 5 p.m. the regiment was relieved by the One Hundredth 
New York and moved back to its camp. 

May 11th, though the time was spent in camp, there was 
enough to do. since there was fatigue work in the way of 
building abatis in front of the line of breastworks behind 
which the camp was made. Also, there was inspection, that 
the condition of the men subsequent to their hot march, when 
so many items were thrown away, might be ascertained. Some, 
in their desire to lessen their burdens, even threw out their 
ammunition, and it is recorded that they were charged up for 
such loss to the tune of twenty-five cents per round. Then, 
too, where blankets were missing, a debit entry was made 
against the individual. This was the day when some excite- 
ment was had along the line by the report that a spy was 
'inspecting the works with evident intent to report his obser- 
vations to the enemy, but when he had been run down he 
developed into one of the engineers simply attending to his 
proper duties. The morning of the 12th ch'ew the men from 
their rest at 3.30 o'clock, and they marched into place behind 
the breastworks and remained there till breakfast. A severe 
rain-storm did not prevent the tired soldiers getting needed 
rest. At noon came orders to march with two days' rations, 
though "not expected to go far." The object was under- 
stood to be tlie support of a cavalry column that was going 
out to cut the Richmond & Danville Railroad. The boys 
declared the direction was towards Richmond, since they 
found a milestone which read "12 miles to Manchester," a 
place just across the James River from Virginia's capital. 
The regiment bivouacked about four miles from the starting 
place, and Colonel Osborn, being appointed general officer 
of the day, had to post pickets, after dark, in a section 
entirely new to him, hence a difficult task. 

Of the 13th General Butler says, "The enemy making a 
stand at their line of works, General Gillmore was sent to 
endeavor to turn their right, while Smith attacked in front. 

May 14, '64. Drewry's Bluff. ' 281 

Both movements were gallantly accomplished after severe 
fighting. Meantime, I endeavored to have the Navy advance 
so as to cover our right, which rested near the river, from the 
fire of the enemy's fleet. But from the correspondence that 
ensued it was obvious that we should have no assistance from 
the Navy above Trent's Reach.'' The last paragraph refers 
to the fact that soundings had revealed the. disagreeable truth 
that the depth of water would not admit the passage of the 
gunboats. The day's record, as told by Humphreys, is that 
Smith, with his Eighteenth Corps, crossed Proctor's Creek to 
within 800 yards of the enemy's outer line of intrenchments, 
which were in open ground and were held by infantry and 
artillery. So strong was the line that General Smith reported 
to General Butler that, if held in force, it could not be car- 
ried by assault. General Gillmore in the meantime had, as 
directed by General Butler, moved to the left to turn the right 
of the intrenchments at the head of Proctor's Creek. The 
enemy was in force there, their right on Wooldridge's Hill, a 
commanding position half a mile west of the railroad. Terry 
attacked unsuccessfully, and while preparing a second attack 
the enemy abandoned their line, passing down towards 
Drewry's Bluff, Gillmore pressing them till dark and getting 
a mile of their works. 


The part borne by the Twenty-fourth began early in the 
morning, when, with the intent of getting in the rear of cer- 
tain works of the enemy, it moved off to the left, reaching the 
same by a circuitous route of about seven miles at 4 p.m. 
The attack upon the rebel line in reverse was made by the 
Third New Hampshire, and it was most gallantly done. The 
Twenty-fourth Massachusetts and the One Hundredth New 
York were sent to drive the enemy out of some woods in front 
of the works. This was successfully accomplished by skir- 
mishing. It was during this movement that Lieutenant 
Edgar Clough of Company F was killed by a sharpshooter. 

282 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

An old New England Guardsman, he had come out with the 
regiment as first sergeant of his company. Five men were 
wounded. After dark, the men fell back and spent the night 
inside the enemy's works. 

General Butler has very little to offer as to the 14th in con- 
nection with the drawn-out engagement in front of Fort Dar- 
ling, his words being these : ' ' General Smith drove the enemy 
from the first line of works, which he occupied. ' ' Humphreys 
is a bit more extended, thus: "Brooks' division of Smith's 
corps occupied a part of the enemy's intrenchments on the 
left of the pike. Gillmore's tw^o divisions. Turner's and 
Terry's, occupied them on Smith's left. About two and a 
half miles of the enemy's outer line of works were thus held 
by our troops. The Confederates occupied their second line, 
the right of Avhich was well refused. ' ' The day alternates in 
rain and shine, but the weather is not specially considered in 
sight of the fighting that the early morning presents. The 
attack of the Eighteenth Corps is plainly visible and the 
Twenty-fourth is ordered to its support, deploying on its left. 
The enemy had a strong line of skirmishers behind a Virginia 
fence and beyond a wide open field. In this advance the regi- 
ment had the Tenth Connecticut on the left and the One Hun- 
dredth New York on the right. Four companies, under Cap- 
tain Partridge, were sent out as skirmishers, and, on the Cap- 
tain's being wounded, he was relieved by Major Hooper. 

The firing was so vigorous that ammunition was exhausted, 
and a new supply had to be secured from the reserve. The 
enemy was driven back, but skirmishing continued all day 
and the most of the night. With a loss approaching thirty 
men for the brigade, the regiment was relieved at 11 p.m., 
and bivouacked in the rear of the position held during the 

A general assault of the Confederate works had been 
ordered for the 15th. but it was abandoned for lack of dispos- 
able troops to form the column of attack. During the day 
Gillmore 's skirmishers were constantly employed, his artilleiy 

May 10, '64. Gen. Stevenson Killed. 283 

a part of the time. Every hour was adding to the forces 
under the Confederate General Beauregard, till now he had 
fully as strong a force as that of Butler, and a disposition to 
attack is more prominent in him than in the Union leader. 
The nine daj's since the landing at Bermuda Hundred had 
served to change the relative situations of the two armies 
remarkably. Of the condition a writer says: ''General But- 
ler could not assault the Drewry's Bluff intrenchments, he 
could not move to turn them, and he could not fall back to 
his Bermuda Hundred lines, or to a new position on the river 
without abandoning his campaign against Richmond with the 
Army of the James. In other words, he was completely par- 
alyzed so far as offensive operations were concerned." Yet 
in spite of all this there were to be precious lives lost in a vain 
effort to carry the works at Drewry's Bluff. For our regi- 
ment it was Sunday in reality, since it was a day of rest, not 
being called out. There was picket firing all day and shots 
from an enemy's battery passed through the wood in which 
the men were lying, some of them striking inconveniently near, 
but no one was hit. Worse than any direct attention of the 
enemy was the confirmation of the enemy's work elsewhere, 
\iz.,that of the lOtli of ^Mayat Spottsylvania. General Thomas 
G. Stevenson, conmianding the First Division of the Ninth 
Army Corps under his beloved Burnside, had been killed. 
The first Colonel of the Twenty-fourth, every man felt as 
though he had lost a personal friend. Killed by a sharp- 
shooter, it needed no statement of the circumstances for his 
fast friends to know that he fell at the post of duty. A 
rumor of his death had been received earlier, but it was hoped 
that subsequent information would contradict. Of him the 
kindest, gi'andest words were expressed by all who knew him. 
As a man and a soldier his record was the brightest, but to 
these soldiers who had seen him at Roanoke and at Newbern, 
who had marched and fought with him. it seemed as though 
each one had lost the dearest of brothers. Had they lamented 
in song, their coranach would have been : 

284 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

He is gone on the mountain, he is lost to the forest, 

Like a summer-dried fountain, when our need is the sorest. 

Perhaps had the men known the work of the morrow, that 
Sunday in the woods had been less happily spent, but some 
one knew the impending ordeal, for in the excellent account 
of his experiences, left by John M. Spear of Company D, a 
helper of Surgeon Green, may be read the following : 

"On the night of the 15th I lay down on the floor by the 
side of Surgeon Green and soon fell asleep. During the night, 
and it seemed to me it might have been about 3 o'clock, 
although I had no way of telling the time, I was awakened by 
some one touching me and asking if I was Dr. Green. I 
aw^oke the doctor, when the person whispered something to 
him which I soon after learned was a request for him to be 
ready for the bloody work so near at hand. Dr. Green 
directed me to have all of the hospital attendants got together 
whenever I could find them. As soon as it was light enough 
for me to move about, I looked them up. All through this 
series of battles I had charge of Dr. Green's case of surgical 
instruments.* So I was always where he was. After look- 
ing up the attendants, I hurriedly prepared a pot of coffee, 
for I had learned by experience that one of the most impor- 
tant of a soldier's duties is to feed himself, and there was no 
time for delay. The densest of dense fogs ushered in the 
morning, and I had just finished my coffee when the left, the 
Tenth Connecticut, was struck and stragglers began to 
appear. It was a surprise to the men to see great bodies of 
the enemy appear through the fog. As fast as we could dress 
the wounds, the men were placed in ambulances and started 
for the rear. Our men fall back and leave us between two 

*Surgeon Green's "Medical Knapsack" was a present to him from the 
distinguished Dr. J. Mason Warren, who had imported from France 
three sets ; one, as we know, was given to our surgeon, one to Surgeon 
Samuel Kneeland of the Forty-fifth, and the other to Dr. J. Franklin 
Dyer, surgeon of the Nineteenth Massachusetts. The long service that 
Surgeon Green's case of instruments saw sufficed to use them up, hence 
what might be a valuable relic in a military museum cannot now be found. 

May 16, '64. Drewry's Bluff. 285 

fires, but Ave stick to our work even though a rebel prison is in 
sight. The last man was in the ambulance when the enemy 
was upon us, cutting the traces and capturing wagons and 
men. By dint of hard running and some caution, the hospi- 
tal force got away. . It was a confused mass that struggled 
back to Bermuda Hundred, but I kept fast hold of the sur- 
geon's instruments." 

Under the circumstances it was singular that Surgeon 
Green got away at all. As he said of himself, he expected to 
be captured, but he was determined to work on his wounded 
men up to the very last moment, though some of the latter 
who were able to walk he told to look out for themselves. The 
enemy was in plain sight, firing with deadly intent. His sta- 
tion was near a small building, a location which a staff officer 
told him to vacate at once. His very last act was to pin the 
name of a dying man on his knapsack, that friend or foe might 
identify the body and then, in his own word, he "scooted" all 
alone, running through a nearby peach orchard, noting as he 
ran the constant fall of branches cut off' by the hostile bullets. 
Soon he came to a brook, in whose partially dried bed he made 
his way, possibly stooping for partial cover. The water was 
very low, from three to six inches in depth, save in the occa- 
sional holes, where he usu,ally fell, getting repeated duckings. 
In this way he kept going till out of immediate danger, when 
he stopped, wrung out his wet garments, and dried off. It 
was about 8 a.m. when he started from the field, and it was 
2 p.m. when he reached the regiment where he had been 
reported as a prisoner sure. The hearfrv' greeting accorded 
him as he came in, "Here comes the prisoner," was some 
compensation for the labors and perils of the day. 

The facts concerning the 16th of INIay and the Army of the 
James, as the latter met the Confederates, are matters of his- 
tory. Whatever the plans of the Union forces in the scheme 
of attacking the rebel lines, the enemy was earlier up and 
saved General Butler's men the trouble of an initiative. The 
foeman's purpose of turning the Union right, under General 

286 Twenty-fourth ■ Massachusetts Regiment. 

Smith, was well carried out in the dense fog, which was so 
thick "that a horseman could not be seen at the distance of 
fifteen paces." The brunt of the attack falls on Heckman's 
brigade, and though the latter does all that men can do, they 
are completely enveloped by the enemy, and a large part of 
the same, including the commander and his staff, are swept 
off to captivity. Gillmore's men are largely employed in 
supporting those of Smith in the fierce attack on the Union 
right. With prodigies of valor on the part of individuals 
and organizations, the lines are gradually forced back till the 
end finds the Army of the James behind the defenses of Ber- 
muda Hundred, and the dream of capturing Richmond from 
the South is dispelled. During all these hours the Twentj^- 
fourth was giving a good account of itself. For it the day 
began with the regiment in reserve on the left, the brigade of 
General Hawley on our right. At 10 a.m. we were ordered to 
the right to support Hawley 's men, who were hard pressed. 
As they, however, were driven back, and both flanks of the 
Twenty-fourth were exposed, it was compelled to retire also. 
Continuing to fall back, closely pressed by the enemy, we 
passed through a chaparral which badly broke the line. 
Thence we mounted a hill without cover, where we lost 
heavily. Lieutenants Ward and Rea. the former acting 
Adjutant, lost their lives and nearly twenty men were killed 
and wounded. Rallying on the brow of the hill, the enemy 
was driven back. 

At this time the regiment was afar from the brigade, hav- 
ing been separated in the confusion of the flank movement. 
Colonel Osborn saw General Gilman ]\Iarston [Second New 
Hampshire Infantry], commanding one of the Eighteenth 
Corps brigades, and reported to him for orders. He directed 
the Colonel to form on the left of the Ninety-sixth New York 
on the hill, which was done, the Colonel throwing out his 
guides and making a perfect alignment. Evidently, this 
pleased the General, for he proceeded to put the regiment 
through the manual for a few minutes, not only steadying the 

May 16, '64. Drewry's Bluff. 287 

Twenty-fourth, but serving as a fine object lesson to other 
bodies, for the boys executed his commands admirably.* 
Varying stories of the halt on the brow of the hill are told 
to this day, but all agree in saying that never was the regi- 
ment steadier or its Colonel more determined. Facing the 
regiment to the front he said, "Twenty-fourth, you're going 
no further! Where is the man who wants to go to the rear? 
I want to see him ! ' ' Observing a nervous movement on the 
part of some, he exclaimed, ' ' Keep in touch, men ; be steady, 
they have only two men to aim at," referring to the enemy's 
cross fire. Long after, one of the observers said of the scene, 
"He stood there at our front as we. faced towards the advanc- 
ing enemy, a revolver in his hand, the embodiment of resolu- 
tion, and the next moment it was give and take between us 
and the rebs." 

*0f this episode, Captain E. C. Richardson, then on General Terry's 
staff, said, "Seeingtheregiment in lineonrisingground, doubting whether 
the position could be maintained, there being practically no near sup- 
port, I joined the regiment, thinking, as I was mounted, I might be of 
service. The Twenty-fourth was as steady as if on Boston Common, in 
perfect control of Colonel Osborn. The enemy in immediate front came 
to a halt. I rode forward to get a better view, a Confederate officer 
doing the same. I did not learn anything and both returned." 

Shifting the scene to Boston, immediately after the war, Major Rich- 
ardson received a visit from a cousin who had been an officer in a Loui- 
siana regiment. Chatting one day about the war, they learned that both 
of them were in this engagement, both on staff duty and that they were 
the officers riding towards each other. The Confederate said, "The thor- 
ough discipline of the regiment in our front, the line in such complete 
control, actually going through the manual as though no enemy were in 
sight, convinced me that there must be a heavy support and that a 
continued advance should be carefully handled." Again were the disci- 
pline and sometimes tedious drills vindicated. 

Lieutenant Jones of Company F passing Fort Darling, soon after the war, 
fell into conversation with a Confederate officer who had commanded the 
very battery that gave us the most trouble on that fateful 16th of May, 
and he said he had always wondered Avhat regiment it was that he had 
taken so many shots at. When the Lieutenant told him it was the Twenty- 
fourth Massachusetts, he remarked, "Well, they did the best marching 
under fire that day that I ever saw." 

May 1G, 'G4. Drewry's Bluff. 289 

Remaining in this position till Tnrner's division had passed 
to the rear, the regiment then retired about a mile and 
rejoined the brigade. The troops were moving slowly back 
to the turn}) ike, different regiments alternating in covering 
the rear. Then followed a halt for some time, next an 
advance with the Tenth Connecticut, about a mile to the 
Halfway House, where line was formed and a vigorous shell- 
ing was received, though without any harm done. After an 
hour of this, the line again fell back through the woods some 
distance and formed column in the road. When all of the col- 
umns had passed, the Twenty-fourth moved .slowly back to 
the intrenchments, reaching them at about 9 p.m. thoroughly 
exhausted ; and well they might be, for as rear guard of the 
retreat, they had by their vigilance prevented any surprise 
by the enemy, though the latter followed closely and needed 
constant watching. By making a new road parallel with the 
turnpike, but through the woods, the march of the regiment 
was not subjected to the raking fire of artillery otherwise had. 
During the daj'^ the hearts of our friends in the Tenth Con- 
necticut were made glad by the arrival of tlieir Adjutant, 
Henry W. Camp, who had been taken prisoner on Morris 
Island in July, and was this day just back from his home. He 
did not delay a moment in reporting to his beloved regiment, 
though the same was in the hottest of the fight on the left. 
This is the way he was met: 

The head of the regiment came in view over the crest of a 
hill the riders were ascending. That the Adjutant was recog- 
nized, a wild shout of joy gave proof. As he drew his horse 
to the roadside, the regiment filed past and each company 
successively greeted him with hearty hurrahs while he sat, 
with cap in hand in all his manly beauty, receiving their grat- 
ulations. * * Not alone Colonel Otis gave him greeting, 
but General Plaisted, brigade commander, hastened forward 
to bid him welcome, and even General Terry, with all the 
responsibility of the battle on him in that imminent hour for 
his division, swung his hat in sympathy with the cheering 
regiment and spurred forward his horse to take tlie returned 
Adjutant by the hand. * * It was but a few minutes before 


290 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Camp was conveying orders along the line as naturally as 
though he had never been absent, while the bullets of the 
enemy whistled past his ears. 

Of these middle ]\Iay days, among the most memorable in 
the history of the regiment, Colonel Osbom has left a record 
in his report to brigade headquarters, dated May 19, 1864 : 

I have the honor to report that the regiment under my 
command marched with the rest of Colonel Plaisted's brigade 
at noon on Thursday, May 12, and joined the rest of General 
Terry's division at a point on the Petersburg and Richmond 
turnpike about three miles distant from camp. It bivouacked 
at that place for the night. 

Friday, May 13, it marched with General Terry's division 
by a circuitous route, crossing the railroad at Clover Hill 
Junction, and at four o'clock came in the rear of the enemy's 
works, commanding the railroad and said to form part of the 
outworks of Fort Darling. Here the regiment was deployed 
to sui)port the Seventh Connecticut Volunteers until the cap- 
ture of the breastworks, which was speedily accomplished. A 
short time after taking possession of them the Twenty-fourth 
was ordered to their front to drive the enemy from a point of 
woods in which they had established themselves. The One 
Hundredth New York Volunteers was on my left. I deployed 
a strong line of skirmishers, and after a short but sharp strug- 
gle, forced the enemy to retire. It then being dark, I was 
ordered to withdraw the regiment and establish a picket-line 
along the railroad. At 10 p.m. the regiment was relieved and 
bivouacked within the works. 

Saturday forenoon. May 1-4, marched with the rest of the 
troops to the attack of the second line ; occupied a position in a 
field covered with low pines, my left resting on the railroad. 
In front was open field about 600 yards wide, on the opposite 
side of which were the enemy's skirmishers in great force, 
under the shelter of a Virginia fence. Being ordered to 
deploy a strong line of skirmishers, I sent out four compa- 
nies ; after some skirmishing the line advanced rapidly and 
drove the enemy back to their works. In the course of the 
afternoon I was compelled to relieve the four companies and 
to send others, they having expended all of their strength and 
their ammunition; these companies also expended all of their 
ammunition. I was supplied with enough by Colonel Plais- 

May "64. Col. Osborn's Report. 291 

ted to furnish the regiment with sixty rounds. Hardly had 
this been issued to the skirmishers when the enemy, stealing 
cautiously up through a thick undergrowth, made a rush upon 
them, but were repulsed with gi*eat loss. My regiment was 
relieved at 11 p.m., and bivouacked in the woods in rear of 
our position. 

Sunday, May 15, the regiment was engaged in no opera- 

]\Ionday, ]May 16, the fighting commenced early in the 
morning. I was placed in resem'e for Colonel Plaisted's 
brigade, but at about 10 a.m. was ordered to the right to sup- 
port Hawley's brigade. On moving to the right found the 
troops falling back in confusion, and could see no regiments 
of Hawley's brigade. Finding myself far in advance of any 
other organization, with both flanks exposed, and the enemy 
advancing rapidly, fell slowly back through the woods until I 
reached the brow of a hill in front' of the works captured on 

Having been separated from my brigade I reported for 
orders to Brigadier-General i\Iarston. who was at that point 
with one regiment. He posted the regiment on the left of the 
Ninety-sixth New York Volunteers, where it remained until 
the whole of General Turner's division had passed to the 
rear; then rejoined Colonel Plaisted's brigade and marched to 
the rear, halting in the field in which we had bivouacked on 
Thursday night. An hour later was ordered forward again 
with the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers to the Halfway House, 
formed line on the right of the turnpike, and remained an 
hour — a portion of the time under artillery fire. On being 
withdrawn from this position, marched in the rear of the col- 
umn back to the intrenchments, reaching camp about 8 p.m. 

I deeply regret to report the loss of three valuable officers, 
who were instantly killed by musket balls in the head while in 
the discharge of their dnty. They were First Lieutenant ]\Iason 
A. Rea, Adjutant Charles G. Ward, and Second Lieutenant 
Edgar Clough. Captain John N. Partridge was also wounded 
in the head, but the wound is thought to be slight. The other 
casualties in my command were four enlisted men killed, 
forty-three wounded and seven missing. — -R. R., Vol. 36, Part 
2, p. 85. 

The morning of the ITth of May saw General Butler's 
forces behind their Bermuda Hundred intrenchments, and 

292 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

General Beauregard had this to say of the situation as it 
appeared to him : ' ' The enemy is noAV hemmed in by our lines, 
which completely cover the southern communications of the 
capital, one of the principal objects of our attack. The com- 
plete success was lost by the hesitation of our left wing, and 
the premature halt of the Petersburg column before obstacles, 
in either case sufficient to have deterred from the execution 
of the movement prescribed." 

On this day there was some needed rest for the tired sol- 
diers. Late in the evening the sound of wagons on the turn- 
pike indicated the movements of wagon trains toward Peters- 
burg, and the Tenth Connecticut, with the Eleventh Maine, 
was sent out to support the cavalry in an effort to intercept 
the same. The result was a shai-p encounter with a number 
of casualties, but with nothing accomplished. The Twenty- 
fourth went on picket with its right touching James River, 
whence was plainly seen the naval accompaniment of the 
army. With alternate rain and shine, and with firing all 
along the front, the regiment remained on picket during the 
18th, being relieved at night. There were indications of the 
gathering of a heavy force of the enemy in front. The 19th 
was spent in camp with repeated alarms calling out the men. 
Earthworks were thrown up along the color-line as a protec- 
tion to the men, forming quite a covered way. Picket firing 
was almost constant. The gunboats opened on a battery 
which the enemy was planting near Dr. Howlett's house at 
our right. On this day Colonel Osborn records that the regi- 
ment has lost in killed, wounded and missing fifty-seven offi- 
cers and men. "The loss of officers is very disproportionate 
to that of the men, for three of the former have been killed 
and only four of the latter. Poor Ward was killed instantly 
during the retreat of Monday, the 16th; the ball struck him 
directly in the top of the head. I feel very sad at his death, 
for he was an old friend. ' ' 

The report of General Plaisted, on the part performed by 
his brigade, in the vicinity of Fort Darling or Drewry's Bluff, 
from the 12th to the 16th inclusive, follows : 

May '6-1:. Col. Plaisted's Report. 298 

Ou the nioriiiny of the 12th inst. Terry's division moved 
out with other troops of the Tenth Corps in the direction of 
the Petersburg pike, the Third Brigade having the advance 
of the division. The division bivouacked in the open fiekl 
near Purdue's, south of the j^ike and about one mile from the 
Halfway House; the Third Brigade occupied the left flank 
and liivouacked in line of battle, forming two sides of a square 
with four companies in the rear as a reserve. A strong picket 
of 200 men from each regiment was posted. Twice during 
the night, the men were called to arms by picket firing. 

On the morning of the 13th, our forces moved upon the road 
to Chester Junction on the Petersburg & Richmond Railroad, 
which point was reached at 8.30 a.m., the Third Brigade in 
the advance. At this point I was ordered to cross the rail- 
road, take a path through the woods by a wide circuit, with a 
view to gain the right and rear of the enemy's fortifications, 
having for guides a colored man and a Mr. Purdue. The 
brigade pushed forward with caution, the One Hundredth 
New York in advance, with skirmishers and flankers out, the 
advance being delayed by the skirmishers and flankers. 
Owing to the thick wood, I was ordered by General R. S. Fos- 
ter, chief of stall', to push forward without flankers and skir- 
mishers; at least they must not delay the column. The One 
Hundredth New York was advanced several hundred yards 
from the remaining regiments of the brigade and one com- 
pany from that regiment thrown forward a hundred yards or 
more as advanced guard. Every bypath and thicket was 
searched by three or more mounted orderlies and my staff 
officers, and every inhabitant upon the way arrested and (|ues- 
tioned. In this manner the movement w^as executed without 
a halt or check, except those occasioned by the obstacles of the 
way, defiles, etc., to the Chesterfield road, about one mile from 
the enemy's right flank, when General Gillmore and staff, with 
a squadron of cavalry, his body guard, took the advance, cap- 
turinu' on the Chesterfield road the enemy's mounted videttes. 
The (;)ne Hundredth New York Volunteers here was posted on 
the Chesterfield road to block up the way in the direction of 
the Court House, the enemy's cavalry having appeared in that 
direction. The Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers 
then took the advance to the Salem Church, a half mile fur- 
ther, where it was posted to guard the Richmond road, while 
our column was passing. The Tenth Connecticut Volunteers 
then having the lead advanced to within a few hundred yards 

294 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

of the rear of the enemy's works, the skirmishers of the 
Twenty-fourth still holding the advance and moving up to 
within a few yards of the enemy. 

Hawley's brigade was now moved to the front and placed 
in line of battle, the Tenth being deployed on the second line. 
The Third New Hampshire of that brigade soon engaged the 
enemy upon the left, the Twenty-fourth and One Hundredth 
were brought up, the Twenty-fourth formed in rear of the 
Third New Hampshire, and was ready, with fixed bayonets, to 
renew the charge, when the enemy, attacked by White's 
brigade in front, abandoned his fortifications on his right, 
and our forces moved in and took possession without further 
opposition, the skirmishers of the Twenty-fourth under the 
lamented Rea being the first to enter the works. 

The enemy holding the left of his fortifications and a wood 
intermediate, the One Hundredth New York Volunteers was 
ordered to move down across the railroad and drive them out 
of the woods, which they did in the most gallant manner. 
Having pressed through the woods and advanced into the 
open space, they came under the fire of a rebel battery of 
three rifled pieces which ploughed the ground frightfully, 
two shots carrying away no less than eight legs. At the same 
time sharpshooters in the woods in front kept up a most 
annoying fire. In danger of being driven back, the Twenty- 
fourth was sent to the support of the One Hundredth. The 
Twenty-fourth advanced across the railroad into the open 
field to the right of the One Hundredth. The two regiments 
then advanced and drove the enemy back. In this affair both 
regiments behaved splendidly and suffered considerable loss, 
the One Hundredth New York losing twenty killed and 
wounded; the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, six, including 
one commissioned officer. Lieutenant Clough, killed by a 
sharpshooter. The regiments, holding their positions- until 
dark, were ordered to fall back and establish a strong line of 
outposts for the night. This having been done on the line of 
the railroad, they were relieved at 11 p.m. by the Tenth Con- 
necticut Volunteers, and the two regiments, greatly fatigued 
and exhausted, bivouacked in the rain at midnight behind the 
captured fortifications. 

At daylight in the morning of the 14th troops in two lines 
of battle, with skirmishers, were seen advancing against the 
left of the enemy's fortifications in the plain below. Colonel 
Otis, with his Tenth Connecticut, was sent forward to dis- 

May 'G4. Col. Platsted's Report. 295 

cover their character. They were soon discovered to be of 
Turner's di^nsion of the Tenth Army Corps. The right of 
the enemy's works having been captured by Terry's division, 
and his whole line turned, the enemy abandoned the left of 
his line in the night, falling back to his second line, and Tur- 
ner and Smith took possession without opposition, except 
from skirmishers. The entire tirst line of the enemy's forti- 
fications were thus secured. Terry's division was immediate- 
ly put in motion and, descending into the valley, formed a 
junction with Turner. The Tenth Corps, thus united with 
the Eighteenth Corps upon the right, advanced to the attack 
of the second line of the enemy's fortifications. The Third 
Brigade being upon the extreme left of our lines was ordered 
to advance and commence the assault, expecting to take the 
enemy in flank and rear. The One Hundredth New York 
and Twenty-fourth Massachusetts were formed in first line, 
Tenth Connecticut in reserve. Charging front forward on 
my right and advancing, my left flank skirted a thick wood, 
from Avliich the enemy's sharpshooters began seriously to 
annoy my line. Colonel Osborn was ordered to throw a com- 
pany of skirmishers into the woods. This company was sup- 
ported by one from the Tenth Connecticut. These compa- 
nies failing to accomplish the object immediately. Colonel 
Otis was ordered with six companies of his regiment to clear 
the woods of the enemy, and to find out and to report his 
exact position upon my left, supporting his skirmishers wit]i 
the balance of his regiment. Colonel Otis soon reported that 
he had skirmished through the woods on both sides of the 
railroad and discovered that the enemy's fortifications ex- 
tended 800 yards beyond my left, that the front was flanked 
by two strong redoubts upon commanding ground, above which 
were two lines of rifle-pits. Reporting these facts to General 
Terry, he, with Major Brooks of General Gillmore's staff, 
reconnoitered the position in person. Positions were selected 
for artillery, and Langdon's and the First Connecticut bat- 
teries were brought up and put into position. At the same 
time, to protect the gunner from the enemy's sharpshooters, 
the skirmishers of the brigade were ordered to advance and 
drive the enemy into his works. It was now one half past 
two p.m., and a battle of skirmishers commenced along our 
whole line, which lasted till past eleven at night. Company 
after company, from each regiment, was sent to reinforce the 
skirmish line, until scarcelv one was left in reserve. Uur 

296 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

skirmishers took and held a line within 200 yards of the 
enemy's fortifications, repelling- charge after charge, and 
finally compelling the enemy to hide himself behind his works, 
and thus for the most part during daylight keeping down his 
fire. At half past ten p.m. was repulsed the heaviest and 
most determined assault of the day. The last reserve of the 
Twenty-fourth and One Hundredth had come up. All were 
well in jiosition with replenished ammunition, when a cloud 
of rebel skirmishers was discovered stealing upon our lines. 
They were allowed to approach within thirty yards, when the 
rebel commander giving the order, "Rally by platoons," 
charged with a yell. His "platoons" were annihilated by 
the close and rapid fire of the One Hundredth, Twenty-fourth 
and Tenth, delivered with deadly aim in the bright moonlight. 
There was no more firing on that line for the night. The loss 
of the brigade in this combat of the skirmishers was six com- 
missioned officers and eighty-four enlisted men. At 11 p.m. 
my three regiments at the front were relieved and bivouacked 
in the wood a short distance in the rear. 

Sunday, the 15th, was comparatively quiet, the brigade 
losing but one man during the day, but the impression seemed 
general that a serious attack by the enemy was impending. 
The usual prei^arations were made in the Third Brigade ; sixty 
rounds of cartridges per man and two days' cooked rations 
were supplied. The teams which came up at night with camp 
and garrison equipage were not unloaded, but sent to the 
rear. On the morning of the 16th the brigade was under 
arms at 3.30. The attack commenced by picket firing on 
the right, opposite our communications, at 4.30 a.m., and soon 
after raged with great violence. I was ordered by General 
Terry to advance my regiments to the open space in front of 
my camps, forming line on the left of the Second Brigade. 
The One Hundredth New York and T wen tv^ -fourth JNIassa- 
chusetts were formed in line as directed; the Tenth was held 
in reserve. The Eleventh Maine had been sent to the left of 
the railroad the night before to occupy the works upon the 
heights captured by us on the 13th. 

Soon after these dispositions had been made, I received 
information from General R. S. Foster, chief of staff to the 
corps commander, that a charge was to be made upon the 
enemy's works by our whole force from right to left, which I 
was to be prepared for. The One Hundredth New York was 
formed in first line, the Twenty-fourth in the second, and the 

May "(J-t. Col. Plaisted's Report. 297 

Tenth Connecticut in reserve. The first line was advanced to 
the plong"hed field, within about 500 yards of the enemy's 
works. At 7.45 a.m., the right of our lines being, hotly 
engaged, I received an order from General Terry to "push 
forward a strong- chain of skirmishers vigorously and impress 
the enemy, if possible, with the idea that we are about to 
make an attack, the other brigade commanders having the 
same ordere. " The One Hundredth New York was imme- 
diately advanced across into the open space into the slashing, 
within one hundred yards of the enemy's fortifications, and 
were at once hotly engag'ed. The Twenty-fourth was ad- 
vanced to the position vacated by the One Hundredth, and 
the Tenth was similarly advanced. In case the charge was 
ordered, the One Hundredth was to g"o in to the enemy's 
entrenchments, followed by the Twenty-fourth, and the Tenth 
would advance to the slashing as a support. 

Three assaults in force were made upon the lines of the sec- 
ond and third brigades, but were repulsed with great loss to 
the enemy. The brigade held this position, the front line 
fighting constantly until 9.15 a.m., when I was ordered by 
General Terry to "leave a strong line of skirmishers in my 
front, then fall back and form my regiments in the open field 
back of me, not letting the enemy see the movement." At 
this time six companies of the One Hundredth were in the 
slashing as skirmishers, four companies at -the edge of it as 
support. Not being certain as to the meaning of the order, 
whether the field in the rear of my position, or the field in 
rear of my camp was intended, I left the Twenty-fourth and 
moved with the Tenth through the wood into the field in rear 
of my camp, supposing the right was to be reinforced, at the 
same time sending to the General for instructions. I soon 
received orders to move the Twenty-fourth by the right flank 
into the same field, keeping close with the Second Brigade, 
which was executing the same movement. One of my staff 
was sent to conduct the Twenty-fourth. The Twenty-fourth 
had barely moved the length of its line when the enemy 
appeared in force, the skirmishers of the Second Brigade 
having suddenly retired. Pressed by a hot fire. Colonel 
Osborn was compelled to fall back in line, fighting through 
the camps and through a thick undergrowth, which, with a 
high fence he was compelled to pass, greatly disordered his 
line. In this condition, the enemy following closely, poured a 
most destructive fire into his ranks, killing two of his commis- 

298 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

sioned officers aud a number of his enlisted men. Under this 
fire, Colonel Osborn reformed his regiment and poured volley 
after volley upon the advancing enemy, driving him back in 
confusion. At the same time, the Tenth Connecticut formed 
nearly at right angles with the Twenty-fourth, on another 
side of the field, opened a cross fire upon the rebels, and in 
five minutes the whole square field and wood were cleared. 
It was here in repulsing the onset of the enemy that the loss 
of these two regiments mostly occurred. 

Having conducted the Tenth to the rear along the left of 
the enemy's fortifications, captured by us two days before, 
and having notified my division commander, I rejoined the 
Twenty-fourth and One Hundredth, which had fallen back 
beyond the railroad. The Eleventh had been sent down the 
turnpike to report to General Ames. By order of General. 
Gillmore, I conducted the Twenty-fourth and One Hundredth 
across the railroad, along the road to the rear of a new posi- 
tion taken by the General, to cover the retreat, and occupied 
strongly by his artillery. Here, joined by the Tenth, the bri- 
gade was moved into the open field and halted, to allow Gen- 
eral Turner's division to pass. Soon after I was ordered by 
General Butler to move forward to the pike on the double 
quick and form a junction, as I understood, with Smith's 
corps. About the same time I was ordered by General Terry 
to remain where I was until he could get his division together, 
and then to follow Turner's division. 

The brigade Avas moved to the pike, thence to the open 
field near to Purdue's house, and formed in line of battle. 
After about two hours, I was ordered with two regiments (the 
Tenth and Twenty-fourth) to move to the front again to 
the Halfway House, and there take a position to cover the 
retreat. The regiments were posted, the Tenth on the left 
and the Twenty-fourth on the right of the road, and at 
right angles with it, supported on the road by two pieces 
of artillery and the Seventh New Hampshire Volunteers, 
Colonel Abbott. The enemy having got his pieces in position 
opened on us smartly with rifled guns and with splendid 
range. The two pieces of artillery limbered to the rear in 
the liveliest manner and were not seen again for the day. 
All our forces having retired, dispositions were made to 
retreat. Six companies of the Tenth were placed parallel 
with the road in the sunken way. Four companies were 
thrown to the rear some 200 yards and placed in position 

May '64. Col. Plaisted's Report. 299 

to cover the retreat of the six companies. Soon after, by 
order of General Terry, the Seventh New Hampshire and 
the Twenty-fourth were retired, when the enemy made his 
appearance in front of the Tenth. ])ut were kept at a distance 
by its fire, and the Tenth was retired without losing a man, 
except a few slightly wounded, including one commissioned 

Retiring to Purdue's, I was directed by the General to 
move with my brigade and the Thirty-ninth Illinois 
Volunteers and take post at the junction leading from the 
pike to our intrenchments, leaving the Twenty-fourth with 
him to bring up the r^ar. The regiments were posted at 
the junction, where they remained till sunset, when all our 
forces had passed and the Tenth took the post of rear 
guard, reaching camp about 9 p.m. The losses of the 
brigade this day amounted to seven commissioned officers 
and 232 enlisted men. the One Hundredth New York suffer- 
ing most. The regiment had the front as skirmishers. 
When the other regiments of the brigade were moved to 
the right, as was supposed, to support it, the One Hun- 
dredth was left at the front as a strong line of skirmishers 
in obedience to the following order : 

Headquarters 1st Di^asion, Tenth Army Corps, 
In the Field, May 16th, 1864. 
Colonel Plaisted: 

Leave a strong line of skirmishers in your front, then 
fall back and form your regiments in the open field back of 

Don't let the enemv see vour movement. 

[Signed"] ' A. H. TERRY, 

Brigadier-General Commanding. 
"Received at 9.15 a.m." 

The Tenth Connecticut had barely reached the field indi- 
cated by General Terry, and the Twenty-fourth moved 
from its position, when the skirmish line upon the right of 
the One Hundredth giving way, the One Hundredth was 
overwhelmed by the enemy upon its front and flank, and this 
gallant regiment, refusing to retire without orders, suffered 
the loss so much to be regretted. Throughout the expedi- 
tion, this regiment had the advance and, always willing and 
alwaA's ready, Avas the first and foremost in the fight and the 

300 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

last to leave the field. Upon every occasion uiider its gal- 
lant commander, its conduct indeed was most creditable 
to itself and the great State it represents. Great credit is 
due to Colonel Dandy and the One Hundredth Nbav York 
Volunteers for the admirable manner in which they per- 
formed every duty. Of the Tenth and Twenty-fourth, I 
hardly need say more than that they maintained the splen- 
did reputation which they have hitherto borne. For steady 
and soldierly behavior under most trying circumstances — 
circumstances, too, entirely new to them, for never before 
were their backs turned to the enemj- — they may have been 
equaled but not surpassed. Under a fire in which eighteen 
fell from the left of the Tenth in almost as many seconds, 
not a soldier of the regiment spoke a word or moved a heel 
from the alignment. , Too much credit cannot possibly be 
accorded to the commanding officers of these regiments. 
Colonels Otis and Osborn, for their coolness and self-pos- 
session under fire, and the skillful manner in which they 
handled their commands. 

The Eleventh ]Maine was under my command but a 
small portion of the time during the expedition. On picket 
when the expedition started, it was not in the flank movement 
of the 12th and 13th. Ordered up on the 13th it joined 
Turner's division and did excellent service on the right, 
charging the enemy on the 14th where others had failed, 
driving him inside of his fortifications, losing in this gallant 
charge of skirmishers fourteen killed and wounded, including 
one commissioned officer killed. It rejoined its brigade on 
the morning of the 15th. On the morning of the 16th it was 
sent by order of General Terry to reinforce General Ames on 
the pike, who was resisting the enemy's advance from the 
direction of Petersburg. Its conduct throughout was reported 
as being unexceptionable in every respect. Lieutenant-Colonel 
Spofl'ord reports the loss of three officers and forty-seven 
men. In his official report he says: "It affords me pleasure to 
say that too much praise cannot be awarded to every man of 
my command during the time reported, recruits as well as vet- 
erans behaving coolly, nobly. If less distinguished in battle 
than some other regiments, it was from lack of opportunity 
only, not of courage or desire. Many expressed a strong 
wislito wade in while they lay in line of battle behind Smith's 
right while the enemy was pressing him back on the 16th." 

The aggregate loss of the brigade, during four days' fight- 

May 'G4. Drewry's Bluff. 301 

iug- and skirmishing-, was 402 : 19 commissioned officers and 
383 men. Five of the officers were killed : Lieutenant Brau- 
non of the Eleventh ]\Iaine. Lieutenant Hoyt of the One 
Hundredth, and Lieutenants Clough, Eea and Adjutant 
Ward of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, intelligent and 
brave young men and accomplished officei-s. whose early 
deaths are indeed to be lamented. Not untimely their fall, 
for they fell at the post of duty in a great cause, and long 
will their memories be cherished by a grateful posterity. Xor 
alone will these be remembered, but the brave lads, too, who 
stood as stoutly for their countrj^ and died so gloriously. Let 
it be remembered as an instance of the heroic spirit animat- 
ing them all that Private James Bean (Company I) of the 
Twenty-fourth, who fell in the retreat mortally wounded, 
waved his handkerchief to his comrades and, calling tnem 
back, said : ' ' Here, take my gun and equipments, carry them 
away safely; never mind me. I have but a few moments to 

To Captain Amory and Lieutenants Sellmar and ]\Iason of 
my staft" I return unqualified thanks for their faithful and 
efficient service during the four days' campaigTi. Bravely 
and with zeal they admirably performed every duty assigned 
them. Trusting that the conduct of the Tliird Brigade, 
Terry's division. Tenth Corps, in the late affair was such as 
to meet the approbation of my division commander, I have 
the honor to be. Captain, with great respect, 

Your most obedient servant. 
[Signed] H. M. PLAISTED. 

Colonel Eleventh ^Nlaine, Commanding Third Brigade. 
First Division. Tenth Army Corps. 
— R. R., Vol. 51, Part 1, Supplement, p. 1241. 

Casualties at Drewry's Bll^ff, ]\Iay 14-16, 1864, in the 

Killed: Adjutant Charles G. Ward, Second Lieutenant Ed- 
gar Clough. Company F ; Corporal John Robinson, Private 
John Sullivan, Company H ; Privates James Bean, Jeremiah 
O'Brien. Company I; First Lieutenant ]\Ia.son A. Rea, Pri- 
vates John Griffith, Richard Orpin, Jas. W. Thurber, Edward 
S. West, Company K. 

AYounded : Corporal Thomas Lynch. Privates Albert F. 

802 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Barnes, Wm. J. Bowes and David Hendrick, Company A; 
Private Charles Pittsley, Company B ; Corporals Edward 
Fay, Edwin A. Moody, Privates Fred E. Eastland, Fabian A. 
Fortier, Erastus Howes, Thos. D. Tebbets, Company C; 
Private Barnard Freeman, Company D ; Sergeant Geo. P. 
Small, Corporal Stephen F. Davis, Privates Daniel Burke, 
John B. Carey, Rich. Clifford, John Collins, Wm. Cook, Pat- 
rick Dugan, David Fitzpatrick, James Fosberry, James Herk, 
John Sullivan, Nathaniel Swett, Company E ; Captain John 
N. Partridge, Privates Arthur Kemp, Dennis Owens, Nicho- 
las Wherrity, Company F ; Corporal John A. Robertson, Pri- 
vates Fred S. Cummings, Michael McDermott, Company G; 
Sergeant Geo. W. Nichols, Private Philip Shope, Company 
H ; Privates Artemas Adams, John Connors, Eugene McCar- 
thy, Frank Todd, Michael Whelan, Company I. 


The 20th of May was marked with the usual amount of 
firing along the entire line, repeatedly calling the troops into 
position. There were several charges on our pickets, but all 
were repulsed. The most interesting item of the day was the 
capture of Confederate General Wm. S. Walker, who, in all 
his refulgent uniform, was taken prisoner, his horse having 
been shot under him. Colonel Osborn says : ' ' He was second 
in rank and had assumed command, on the wounding of Gen- 
eral Evans, who had had command of the attacking forces. 
The presence of two general officers so near the line of battle 
would seem to indicate that' they thought they were fighting 
our entire force instead of merely the pickets." A Company 
G man writes: "Captain Richardson came riding to camp, 
wanting a stretcher for a rebel general just captured. The 
stretcher was sent and Brigadier-General Walker of South 
Carolina was brought in. The brigade rushed around to get 
a sight of him." Another said of the captured officer: "He 
was a rashly brave man. As many as 200 bullets were fired 
at him as he rode away in defiance of a summons to surren- 

May 20, '64. Gen. Walker Captured. 303 

der. His horse fell dead, and he was wounded in head, thigh 
and foot." His leg was later amputated.* Plaisted's bri- 
gade was ordered out at 5 p.m., supposedly to support an 
attack on the pickets which they were receiving at the hands 
of the enemy, but it really was to go upon the picket-line 
itself. The Twenty-fourth relieved the Eighty-ninth New 
York on the extreme right and passed a very quiet night. 

The 21st dawned beautifully, and Colonel Osborn was 
made officer of the day to relieve Colonel Dandy of the One 
Hundredth New York, who had been taken ill. The regi- 
ments were placed in the following order from the right : 
Twenty-fourth, Eleventh ]\Iaine, One Hundredth New York, 
and four companies of the Tenth Connecticut. Nearly all of 
the men were covered by rifle-pits. The enemy were watched 
as they threw up similar works not more than 200 yards dis- 
tant. At 6.30 p.m., the Sixth Connecticut relieved the 

*General Walker was captured l)y Company C of the Sixty-seventh 
Ohio Regiment, and there was an interesting sequel to tlie event in that, 
on the 24th day of the following September, General Wm. F. Bartlett, 
a New England Guardsman who received commissioji in the Twentieth 
Massacliusetts and was caiatured at the Mine Explosion, was sent down 
the James in exchange for this same General Walker. The latter' s 
wounds were severe, and he too, like Bartlett, had lost a leg. In 1884, 
while visiting in St. Augustine, Fla. , E. B. Lyon of Dayton, Ohio, a vet- 
eran of Company K, Twenty-fourth, met a General Walker who was 
staying at the same hotel with the Yankee. Inquiry developed the fact 
that he was the subject of the incident of more than twenty years before. 
He was an entertaining story teller, held no rancor over the days of the 
war, saying that he had reached the lines only the day before from the 
South and while trying to learn the situation, and venturing too far, 
was summoned to surrender ; when he wheeled about he was hit three 
times and sixteen bullets entered his horse. His intended attack of the 
afternoon was necessarily postponed. He still mourned the loss of his 
sword, a handsome one, which had become the personal trophy of Col. 
Alvin C. Voris of the 67tli. His long brown beard of '64 had become 
short and gray in '84. He spoke in very grateful terms of the kind 
usage accorded him in the Union hospital. This incident of General 
Walker forms tiie burden of Col. John J. Craven's preface to his story 
of the imprisonment of Jeff Davis. Surgeon Craven, by the light of a 
bonfire, amputated General Walker's leg. 

^ ^-^ g;? i,^ J 


May 23, '64. Rev. E. E. Hale Calls. 305 

Twenty-fourth, and the Seventh Connecticut took a position 
further to the left. No casualties happened along our line 
during the day. At 11.30 p.m. there was an alarm at the 
pickets, with rapid firing all along the front, the batteries 
opening, the principal result being the explosion of a rebel 
caisson. Quiet followed. Sunday was once more a day of 
rest, and the 22d was spent in writing letters and resting, 
though a party for fatigue duty at the front was called for. 
Both rebel and Federals were anxious to make their respective 
lines so strong that neither one would be capable of going any 
further. It was from observations of the situation here that 
General John G. Barnard, whom Grant had sent down to 
report on the condition of aifaii^, used the figure of speech 
wherein he likened Butler's position to a bottle, the line of 
works extending from the James to the Appomattox being the 
cork which prevented the enemy's getting in, but the Confed- 
erate w^orks were equally effective in keeping the Union forces 
from getting out. The appositeness of the illustration drew 
from General Grant the expression with reference to Butler's 
being "bottled up" at Bermuda Hundred. In his memoirs, 
Grant to all intents apologizes for his use of the figure. 

May 23d is deservdng of note, for on this day the Rev. E. 
E. Hale of Boston called on the Colonel and other friends. 
Though Dr. Hale had not then acquired his world-wide fame, 
he was known as a distinguished literary man. Possibly his 
"Man Without a Country," which had appeared in the 
December "Atlantic" of 1863, had not been generally circu- 
lated, yet it is fair to suppose that a regiment which possessed 
a private, who had brought his Greek Testament with him 
from the Boston Latin School, and professional man of note 
was by this time conversant with the greatest and best short 
story ever written in America. At any rate, the sight of his 
rugged face and the sound of his resonant voice were a pleas- 
ure to not a few of the Boston members of the regiment. It 
was on this day, also, that General Terry addressed a letter 
to Colonel Osborn as to the desirableness of less firing on the 

306 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

picket-line. He directs that no firing whatever be allowed 
unless absolutely necessary, for the defense of the line or to 
prevent the enemy from erecting new works too near our 
lines. Late in the evening, 11 o'clock, came orders from 
General Gillmore, through General Terry, to push forward 
the picket-line, as there was a suspicion that the enemy was 
retiring. The Twenty-fourth had gone out at 5.30, and 
whatever the opinion of the officers, there was nothing to be 
done except to advance. "AVith the whole regiment, save 
one company, deployed, and the Tenth Connecticut being on 
the left in similar attitude, with the Seventh Connecticut for 
support, the line moved up somewhat after midnight. Find- 
ing the enemy in usual strength, we retired according to 
orders. The firing continued nearly an hour, the rebels evi- 
dently puzzled at our action, and to find out what it meant, 
repeated the act towards us and were themselves repulsed in 
turn. " 

Having thus felt of each other and finding neither absent, 
there was comparative quiet on picket, during the 24th, and 
the men had time to explore their surroundings. One man 
found the first ripe strawberries of the season, and with his 
tent-mates devoured them with relish, though without cream. 
As an illustration of the condition, along late in the after- 
noon, in front of A Company, a rebel came out and, holding 
up a paper in his hand, proposed to advance half way, appar- 
ently desiring to exchange Confederate with or for Union 
news. Lieutenant Shepard, however, had no nose for news 
at that moment and ordered him back. Relief came at 6 p.m. 
in the shape of the Seventy-sixth Pennsylvania and the Forty- 
eighth New York, .Colonel Osborn passing his duties along to 
Colonel Strickland of the latter regiment. While the 
25th was a quiet day, there was work for fatigue par- 
ties which were engaged in cutting, pointing and placing 
abatis in front of the breastworks. One party of tree cutters 
claimed to have thus cut down and captured a rebel sharp- 
shooter who did not discover himself till the tree was top- 

May, '64. Bermuda Hundred. 307 

pling. He said he was after General Butler and him only, 
being anxious to secure the $1000 reward offered by the Con- 
federates for his death or capture. At noon the men were 
called into line to hear an order from General Grant to the 
effect that he had crossed the North Anna River on his grand 
jSanking movement toward Richmond. 

May 26th was quite devoid of interest, the only item 
recorded being that tents were to be repitched and made more 
sanitary, but rain prevented. The coming of Northern 
papers only a day old is very satisfactory when compared 
with the long delays in news getting in the far Southern 
states. May 27th, at 6.30 p.m., the regiment went on picket 
again with the One Hundredth New York on the right, Col- 
onel Dandy in command. On this day transportation arrived 
to convey the Eighteenth Corps to join the Army of the 
Potomac, thus "frustrating General Butler's plan to advance 
the next day against Petersburg."* The regiment came off 
the picket-line at 6 p.m. The 29th saw the departure of the 
Eighteenth Corps, and regimental headquarters received 
another call from the Rev. E. E. Hale, who was about to 
return North. The Glee Club gave him a specimen of their 
music. Much to the regret of all conversant with the fact, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson sent in his resignation. 
Fatigue work for the men is still found in strengthening the 

Just to relieve the monotony on the 30th, as the regiment 
was going on picket late in the afternoon, indeed before the 
One Hundredth New York had been relieved, the Confed- 
erates opened a furious artillery fire on the pickets. On 
reaching the rifle-pits occupied by the pickets, it was found 
that one part of the line had departed quite too quickly, leav- 
ing this portion of the front entirely open. It was imme- 

*General W. F. Smith's words to Dr. E. E. Hale, whose interest in 
the Twenty-fourth may have arisen in part from his personal friend- 
ship for Chaplain Willson, at whose installation he had preached. The 
noisy night of the 23d formed the basis for Dr. Hale's entertaining pa- 
per, "My First and Last Battle." 

308 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Rhgiment. 

diately re-established by our men and quiet reigned through 
the night. By this attack of the enemy Privates George A. 
Slayton of Company I was instantly killed and Albert Taylor 
of D was slightly wounded. During the last day of the month, 
while the regiment was taking its dinner, the artillery attack 
of the previous night was repeated, though in this case with- 
out any mishap, the Union batteries replying vigorously. At 
6 p.m. the Tenth Connecticut came out and relieved the 
Twenty-fourth. Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson having received 
an honorable discharge, bade his friends adieu and started for 
home. The exactions of an active campaign forbade a for- 
mal leave-taking of the regiment, but all, officers and men 
alike, conscious of the sorrow in his heart and home, mentally, 
if not verbally, wished him a hearty Godspeed and turned to 
their work of war once more. 

The situation between the Union and rebel lines is very 
nicely expressed in the words of an observer, thus : ' ' The Con- 
federate works are so strong it would be folly for us to attack 
them, so our advance is effectually barred, while the rebels 
are in a similar position, for they would only dash themselves 
to pieces against our fortifications. Besides, they cannot go 
away, for they must remain to watch us. So we lie and glare 
at each otlier, and do nothing but skirmish a little on the 
picket-line. In all of those encounters they have thus far 
had the worst of it, and they are now disposed to remain 
quiet." Of the resignation of Lieutenant-Colonel Stevenson, 
Colonel Osborn writes : ' ' There is no officer whom it would 
pain me more to lose, for besides the confidence I feel in his 
ability is the attachment I have for him personally. He is 
kind, generous, truthful, and thoroughly reliable, and endears 
himself to everybody. He is very sorry to resign, but thinks 
it is his duty to his family to do so." In another letter the 
Colonel very graphically describes the situation as to the 
pickets, thus: 

They are in the woods about half a mile in front of our 
works and, contrary to the usual practice, they have a line of 

May, '64. Exchange of Courtesies. 309 

rifle-pits to lie in. These were not built by order, but were 
thrown up by the men in the course of events to protect them- 
selves against the sudden assaults of the rebel pickets, who 
are very near. The rebels have done the same thing, so that 
the two lines lie within a hundred yards of each other. They 
seem to have come to a tacit agreement not to fire at each 
other, and latterly they have been very sociable. Their men 
have come half way from their lines to ours without arms, 
waving papers and tobacco, which they wish to exchange for 
our papers or for coffee. Many officers permit their men to 
meet them, to remain and converse, though I never do, as I 
think the principle a bad one. * * From the conversation 
of some of these men we learn of the presence of some of our 
old opponents in North Carolina. The Eighth North Caro- 
lina, which we captured at Roanoke Island, whose flag we took 
and sent to the State House, where it is now hanging, is about 
in front of our brigade. The Thirty-fifth North Carolina, 
which was at Newbern, and in w^hose tents we camped the 
night after the battle, are also here. * * The object of the 
rebel firing [on the 30th] was and remains a mystery. We 
can only account for it on the supposition that they were 
going to remove some of their artillery in the night, and made 
a display of it to cover the movement. Some of their pickets 
called out to ours, "You had better cover, Yanks, we are 
going to open on you. ' ' That was just before the firing com- 
menced. I was just called from my writing to see two desert- 
ers from the Thirty-fourth Virginia, who have come in to my 
men. They are young fellows with full, fresh faces, bearing 
no signs of a meagre diet, good figures, and would be good 
looking if their hair had been cut and their clothes respec- 

It was in one of these paper exchanging incidents that 
drummer-boy Vining of K struck the enemy when he was not 
in a trading mood ; result, a badly scared boy and a well per- 
forated drum, though the latter has been a cherished relic 
these forty years and more. 

June will not prove a very exciting month in the annals of 
the Twenty-fourth, since it will present little more than a 
repetition of picket duty and "turning out" to meet expected 
attacks of the enemy. June 1st the Confederates opened 
with their batteries early in the morning and repeated the act 

310 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

at 11 p.m., but our guns did not reply. Of the events of this 
and the next day Colonel Osborn writes : 

On Wednesday night [the 1st] , the enemy opened upon 
us, but we, contrary to our custom, did not reply. The only 
thing which broke the stillness along our lines was the explo- 
sion of the enemy's shells. I thought that this would puzzle 
them, and induce them to make an attack in the morning to 
find out what our reserve indicated, and accordingly was not 
surprised to hear a heavy musket fire all along the picket-line 
at five the next morning. The rebels attacked with much 
vigor and pressed the pickets in front of our, Terry's, divis- 
ion back some distance, capturing some officers and men of 
the Seventh Connecticut. The change of line on the right 
was an advantage to us rather than an injury, so we adopted 
the new position, but on the left we retook the old one, as it 
seemed necessary, in our turn capturing many of the enemy. 
The regiment lay at the parapet all day. Having got started, 
there was heavy picket-firing all day and night. There 
seemed no reason for it, but it could not be stopped. 

June 3d the picket-firing gradually ceased when daylight 
revealed the groundlessness of the apprehension. A flag of 
truce went out under the direction of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Plympton of the Third New Hampshire, accompanied by Col- 
onel Osborn of the Twenty-fourth, conveying the body of 
Colonel Beaugler of a South Carolina regiment, who had been 
killed the day before. In the afternoon there came a similar 
body from the enemy, bringing letters from the officers cap- 
tured on the 2d. The Confederates were exceedingly polite 
and conversed freely with the Union officers. Both expressed 
regrets over the noise of the night before and deprecated 
picket-firing. They asked what was the use of our fighting, 
since the South never could be subjugated. When Colonel 
Osborn asked what they meant by "subjugated," tliey were 
unable to give any satisfactory answer. Heavy firing is heard 
during the day in the direction of Richmond, both cannonad- 
ing and musketry. It was a part of the dread engagements 
which made up the terrible aggregate of Cold Harbor. The 

June, '64. Bermuda Hundred, 311 

4th finds the regiment on picket with Major Hooper in com- 
mand of the redan in front of Battery 1. The next day 
Companies A and H of the Twenty-fourth went out to help 
garrison Major Hooper's station, and twice during the day, 
by General Butler's command, the batteries opened on the 
rebels, "to see whether they were still there." A Richmond 
Examiner of the 4th brought into camp dilates on the 
affair of the 3d, claiming that the Union forces lost 6000 
men and themselves 500, a report calculated to be believed 
only by the marines. A deserter who came in this morning 
seemed to have a pretty clear notion of things, for he said: 
"They tell us that Lee is beating Grant all the time, but 
Grant keeps getting nearer Richmond. I don't understand 

Companies E and P went on picket at night the 6th, and 
tlQ.e remainder of the regiment followed on the 7th. This 
was the day in which Corporal H. H. Manning reported to 
General Butler to undertake a personal scouting trip among 
the enemies. As his friend and comrade wrote : ' ' He came to 
the picket-line about 1 p.m., bade us good-bye, and went out- 
side of the lines as a scout." This was the beginning of the 
adventures which eventuated in the story of the "Captured 
Scout, ' ' Manning passing through a series of mishaps, whence 
his final escape appears wonderful. June 8th was the day of 
General Gillmore's reconnoissance toward Petersburg. We 
are told by General Butler in his book that he had intended 
to place the command in the hands of General E. W. Hinks, 
who was leading the colored troops of the Eighteenth Corps, 
but, at the request of Gillmore, the honor was conferred on 
him. He marched out and so did General Kautz of the cav- 
alry division of Butler's forces, and the latter accomplished 
what he started to do, but, failing the co-operation of Gill- 
more, he and the latter returned with nothing substantial 

On this day also Colonel Osborn again records his feeling 
concerning General Stevenson and his impressions of his 

312 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Rhgiment. 

character: "I feel General Stevenson's death very deeply, 
and yet I think I do not fully realize it. We have been asso- 
ciated so long and so intimately, and I have enjoyed his 
friendship so much, that I cannot bring- it home to my mind 
that he is gone never to be seen on earth. He was a noble fel- 
low and well deserved the praises that have been lavished 
upon him. He was straightforward and manly, with a ten- 
der heart, good principles, high moral courage, strong com- 
mon sense, and a superior judgment. He was devoted to his 
duty and thoroughly reliable. With no greater love for the 
profession of arms than I have, yet he seemed to pursue it 
with a zeal that springs from a strong predilection. His 
social qualities were remarkable. I never met a man his 
equal for making and retaining friends, and this in all classes, 
whether superior or subordinate in rank, whether equal or 
inferior in education and social position. There was no one 
of my friends for whom I cherished a warmer affection, or in 
whom I had a more confiding trust. For counsel or aid, I 
would have applied to him unhesitatingly, sure of meeting 
the heartiest response. ' ' 

In the same connection the Colonel gives this verbal picture 
of his camp life : ' ' My tent has a fly spread in front of it, 
under which there is a table where the field and staff mess, 
where I write, and where most of the camp discussions are 
conducted. We take tea at seven; after tliat the band plays 
near by, and the officers begin to congregate. Just before 
dark the papers arrive and all gather eagerly around to get 
the latest news. Maps are brought out and the locality of 
the armies noted, while the points of difference between ours 
and the rebel papers are commented on. By the time we have 
squeezed the papers dry, Berry* appears with the letters and 
is assailed on all sides with, "Anything for me?" On the 
9th there was the usual exchange of noisy courtesies between 
the opposing forces. Captain Partridge returned from his 

*Charles H. Berry, Co. C, the efficient regimental postmaster during 
the whole term of service. ♦ 

June 16, '64. Weir Bottom Church. 313 

leave of absence, and at 3.30 the regiment resumed the picket- 
line. June 10th, by order of General Terry, Colonel Osbbrn 
was detailed to preside at a court martial to meet at General 
Terry's headquarters the next day. 

Of these days Adjutant Camp of the Tenth Connecticut 
writes in a way to interest men of the Twenty-fourth : ' ' The 
opposing pickets have been on the best of terms for the past 
few days. On Monday, the 13th, just before the firing com- 
menced, tlie rebels at the outposts warned our men, 'Get into 
cover, boys, our guns are going to open right away ! ' and yes- 
terday they called out to the men of the Twenty-fourth Mas- 
sachusetts that they had an ugly tempered officer as officer of 
the day, and very likely they would be ordered to fire on any 
Yankee whom they could see. ' But the first time, ' said they, 
'we'll fire high; after that you must look out.' Good-natured 
fellows, weren't they? Not such as you would care to kill 
on general principles, — only for special reasons." June 
14th the troops that had been campaigning under Grant 
began crossing the James Eiver, and for several days there 
was a stream of blue passing at right angles the ta\^^ly 
waters of the James. Repeatedly the regiment is called out 
to man the parapets during the night, which, with regular 
picket-duty, keeps the men from indolence. 


June 16th produced some variation in the regular routine. 
Early in the morning it was rumored that the enemy had 
abandoned their works and that our pickets had occupied 
them. Accordingly, the regiment fell in and marched out to 
the works. At our right was the Tenth Connecticut, its right 
resting on the Howlett House. On our left, Howell's and 
Hawley's brigades moved out beyond, with the Eleventh 
Maine in our rear at Weir Bottom Church. General Ames, 
coming down the line with the Ninth New Jersey and the 
Twenty-third ^Massachusetts, had orders to take one of Gen- 
eral Plaisted 's regiments and move out on our front, and Col- 

314 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

onel Osborn was ordered to report to him, but the order was 
countermanded before it could be obeyed. Ames moved to 
the left with his two regiments and went forward. 
Companies E, G and I of the Twenty-fourth were 
sent out as skirmishers. There was some firing all 
day, but no indication of a heavy force. Mean- 
while, General Turner went to the railroad and destroyed 
a mile and a half of track. At about 5 p.m. the 
firing ceased and the troops returned. It was known that 
Lee's army was passing our front on its way to Petersburg, a 
counter on Grant's passage of the James. The skirmishers 
of the Twenty-fourth were ordered in and then out again. 
We met the enemy's advance and engaged them and under 
orders retired, which we did as a line of skirmishers and 
formed in line back of the Eleventh Maine, which had thrown 
up rifle-pits at the church. The enemy attacked the forma- 
tion, which was our original picket-line, but without success. 
The Twenty-fourth went on picket at the right, with the 
Thirty-ninth Illinois, Eighty-fifth Pennsylvania and Sixth 
Connecticut, Colonel Osborn being general officer of the day. 
There were three regiments in reserve, but at midnight they 
were ordered in. As directed by General Foster, chief of 
staff, the picket-line extended from the Weir Bottom Church 
to a point in fronjt of and to the left of Battery No. 6, "and 
it must be maintained and held by us during the night and 
to-morrow, if possible." 

That part of the line occupied by the left of Colonel 
Howell's and in front of Colonel Hawley's entire command 
will be posted so as to occupy the line of the enemy's in- 
trenchments as they were this morning or, in short, occupy 
the old picket-line of the 20th of ^lay, keeping videttes well 
to the front along the entire line, and more especially in front 
of Colonel Hawley's line and the left of Colonel Howell's. 
All details necessary for you during the night to make your 
picket-line secure will be furnished on application to the 
brigade commanders, who have been notified to furnish them 
upon your requisition. The Seventh New Hampshire, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson, commander, was left by me 

June 16, '64. Gex. Foster's Directions. 315 

near the picket-line in front of Colonel Hawley's brigade, 
with instructions to take any position he might be assigned 
to by yon or in your absence by his brigade commander. The 
firing on our right is the gunboats and our twenty-pound bat- 
tery trying to shell the turnpike. Communicate direct to me 
at General Gillmore's old headquarters the importance of any 
fii-ing or other matters that may occur to you on the line. All 
other troops, save those required by you on the picket-line, 
you will order into the intrenchments. Information this 
moment received makes it necessary to relieve all the pickets 
in front of each [brigade?] except one regiment. All the 
balance will be ordered into the intrenchments. You will, if 
the regiment on the line in front of any brigade is exceeding- 
ly small, see it filled to what would make an ordinary regi- 
ment. The instructions just received render it impossible 
for you to call on the brigade commanders. If you are 
attacked in force, you will hold your position as long as pos- 
sible, and, if driven back, "\W11 stubbornly contest the ground 
till driven within the intrenchments. 

At 4.30 the next morning General Foster sent a note to Col- 
onel Osborn from Battery 3, stating that he had ordered Col- 
onel Hawley to send a regiment to support the picket-line, 
and had also ordered Colonels Plaisted and Howell to each 
send a regiment through the sally-port ready to move 
to the support of the line. It would appear that 
there was need enough of support, for at daylight 
the enemy was upon our lines, but without success. 
At 4 p.m., they came again and forced back the 
Sixth and Seventh Connecticut, the Eighty-fifth Penn- 
sylvania and the Thirty-ninth Illinois, leaving the left 
flank of the Twenty-fourth, which was on the right at Weir 
Bottom Church, entirely exposed. The regiment held its 
position admirably for over half an hour, until the right flank 
of the Thirty-ninth Illinois was advanced to make a connec- 
tion. Late in the day Colonel Osborn was relieved as gen- 
eral officer of the day by Colonel Otis of the Tenth Connecti- 
cut, and passed over to his own regiment, which was relieved 
by the Eleventh Maine at 10 p.m. and returned to camp. A 
realistic picture is drawn of the day by a private as follows: 

316 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

"We suffered a great deal for water, since it was very warm 
and our faces were black with powder. Our guns were so hot 
they would almost blister our hands. The rebels got artillery 
on their left and gave us a good cross fire. We had to lie on 
the tops of our rifle-pits and a shell struck the one we were on. 
It knocked a splinter that was eight inches long and four 
inches Made, M'hich hit me on the hip. If I had been stand- 
ing up at the time, it would have gone through me. Lieuten- 
ant Williams was struck by a piece of shell. The regiment 
next to us fell back, but we gave three cheers and told them 
not to give back and they went in again. About 6 p.m. the 
Eleventh Maine came charging up through the woods and 
helped us till after dark, when they left to go on picket. They 
had not got a great ways when the rebs attacked us again for 
half an hour, when we were relieved and marched to camp, 
where I got a good drink of water the first thing, then I had 
some tea. I did not feel like eating anything. I had a good 
wash all over and changed my clothes and turned in, thankful 
to God for preserving my life." These boys from eastern 
Massachusetts could hardly have made more noise at home in 
celebrating Bunker Hill day than they made here on the 
banks of the James. 

The work of the Third Brigade, First Division, Tenth Army 
Corps, June 16th, is thus given in the report of Colonel H. M. 
Plaisted, commander : 

Three regiments of my command participated in the move- 
ment, viz., 24th Mass., Col. Osborn ; 10th Conn., Colonel Otis, 
and the 11th Maine, Major Hill. My orders were to advance 
to the line of works abandoned by the enemy and there await 
further orders. The lOtli Conn, advanced rapidly, and at 
7.15 a.m. were in possession of the main line of rebel intrench- 
ments in front of Ware Bottom Church, and thence to the 
James River. Skirmishers were advanced to the second line 
of rebel works, about 700 yards in the rear of the m.ain line, 
driving the enemy's skirmishers therefrom. The regiment 
had more or less skirmishing from the start. It captured 
thirty-six prisoners, including three commissioned officers. 
I was directed by General Terry to hold the last of the 

June 16, '64. Col. Plaisted's Report. 317 

enemy's fortifications from Ware Bottom Cliui'ch to the river, 
about three quarters of a mile, with my brigade, while 
HoAvell's and Hawley's Brigades and Ames's Division on our 
left advanced to destroy the railroad. Intrenching tools were 
sent for and the pioneers of the Brigade were ordered up. 
A banquette was constructed on the front of the enemy's 
works, thus shifting their front and turning them on the 
enemy. The abatis and fraise constructed by the enemy were 
removed and numerous rifle-pits and some "regTilar ap- 
proaches" in rear of the line [now our front] leveled off. 
These approaches extended to the [enemy's] rear to the road 
running parallel with the enemy's fortifications and had the 
appearance of having been made the night before. 

The 11th Maine was ■ strongly intrenched at the Church 
and free communications opened for artillery from the 
church to and through the enemy's fortification. The 24th 
Mass. occupied the works in front of the church. 
The 10th Conn, was on the right of the 24th to the James 
Eiver, strongly occupying three inclosed works, two near 
Hewlett House and one on the road leading past the Church. 
During the afternoon, while the Brigades at the front were 
warmly engaged with the enemy, three companies of the 24th 
and three of the 10th were thrown forward to protect How- 
lett's right. Two companies of the 10th were posted on the 
"parallel road" a mile beyond his flank in the direction of 
Drewry's Bluff, with scouts still farther advanced. A por- 
tion of the 11th ]\Iaine Avas brought up to the main works to 
supply the place of these detachments. The two advanced 
brigades, after having been engaged with the enemy the most 
of the day," and in tearing up the railroad, were retired about 
5 p.m. through my line to the rear, closely followed by the 
enemy's skirmishers. After skirmishing with the enemy for 
half an hour I retired my regiments by order of General Fos- 
ter, forming them in two lines in the rear of the 11th Maine 
at the church. The enemy's line of skirmishers following 
closely, advanced boldly with yells upon the new line [the old 
picket line of ]May 20] held by the 11th and a portion of How- 
ell's Brigade. The enemy were met by heavy volleys and 
driven back to their fortifications. There they were rallied 
and pressed forward again more cautiously. Lively skir- 
mishing was kept up by the opposing lines until after sunset. 

About sunset I was ordered by General Foster, command- 
ing division, to retake with my brigade the enemy's fortifica- 

318 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

tions at the Hewlett House if practicable, for the purpose of 
destroying a big gun [columbiad] reported by deserters to 
have been buried there by the enemy. I reported to General 
Foster that I did not consider the enterprise practicable for 
the following reasons: The only practicable approach to the 
left of the enemy's fortifications was by the road past the 
Ware Bottom Church, by reason of the ravine extending 
from the river to the church. His point at the head of the 
ravine, some 250 yards only from the enemy's fortifications in 
front of the church, was more than 800 yards from the 
enemy's left near the Hewlett House, to attack which direct- 
ly would expose the attacking force to a flank fire at short 
range the whole distance. Hence, to carry the batteries at 
the Howlett House, I would be compelled first to carry the 
enemy's fortifications opposite the Church, and 'then his 
whole left to the river. In front of the church was a h.ea,Yj 
enclosed work capable of holding several companies ; near the 
Howlett house were two similar enclosed works, all of which 
were connected together by a strong chain of rifle-pits. That 
the fortifications were well manned I saw with my own eyes. 
Besides the strong line of skirmishers, a force of not less than 
four rebel regiments was seen to move into the intrenchments, 
which I would be compelled to carry. The order to make the 
attack was countermanded by General Foster and the brigade 
ordered to camp. 

The casualties during the day in my command were few. 
A list of them has been sent in to your headquarters. More 
than satisfied with the conduct of every officer and soldier of 
my command, without exception or distinction, still I am 
pleased to mention specially Sergeant Sayres, Co. K, 10th 
Conn., who, with eight men, captured 26 prisoners, including 
two commissioned officers, in a body, and with three men, five 
prisoners with one commissioned officer. Having conducted 
his prisoners to the rear and delivered them to the provost- 
marshal, he returned to the front and asked permission with 
his three comrades to go in and see if he could not get ' ' a few 
more of 'em before night."— R. R., Vol. XL, Part 1, p. 689. 


June 18th was a pleasant day and the war proceeded just 
the same. The James River having been passed by the Army 
of the Potomac, the Sixth Corps, or two of its divisions, hav- 

June, '64. Deep Bottom. 319 

ing covered the crossing of the river upon the pontoons were 
ordered to man the defenses in front of Bermuda Hundred. 
At 4 p.m. the enemy attacked the pickets and again at 10 
o'clock, the regiment being ordered out both times. The 19th 
being Sunday, there was a semblance of its recognition in that 
Chaplain Willson held a service at the redan in front of Bat- 
tery 1, but there was none too much time for religious meet- 
ings, when there were only four hours intervening between 
the regiment's coming in from the breastworks at 2 p.m. and 
its going on picket at 6 o'clock. The Colonel mentions his 
finding medals of honor in his tent on his coming in and his 
distribution of the same. That portion of the Tenth Corps 
that had been out towards Petersburg returned and took the 
place of the Sixth Corps, which moved off toward the last 
named city. 

June 19th troubles between Generals Butler and Gillmore 
culminated in the suspension of the latter from the command 
of the Tenth Corps, and the promotion of Brigadier-General 
W. T. H. Brooks, who had been in command of a division of 
the Eighteenth Corps. The same brigade and division condi- 
tions for the Twenty-fourth continue as heretofore. The 
20th dawning in a dense fog, unusual vigilance was exercised 
with reference to the enemy, but he apparently was doing the 
same thing on his side of the line. At 1 o'clock p.m. the 
regiment came off picket, and at 5 o'clock, having received 
two days' rations and 100 rounds of ammunition, in light 
marching order, with all of Plaisted's brigade and a part of 
Howell's, the line of march was taken to Jones's Neck, some 
three miles below the camp. Here, after the arrival of pon- 
toon boats, they were boarded, forty men to the boat, and 
propelled two miles away to 


between Three and Four-mile Creeks, on the other side of the 
James. The peculiar name of the locality arises, it is said, 
from the great depth of the river here. Loads of shovels also 

320 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

were sent with the men, and on arriving, at about midnight, 
the shovels were taken and used till daylight in constructing 
fortifications. There were a few moments for rest before 
8 a.m., when the regiment was ordered out to support the 
picket and had to lie all day, 21st, in the hot sun. Still the 
boys might have fared worse, since they had a chance to sam- 
ple whatever there was of food in the vicinity. Mulberries 
they found plentiful and delicious. The ripe cherries which 
nearby trees afforded they pronounced the best possible. At 
6 p.m. the regiment returned to the river bank and biv- 
ouacked. A pontoon bridge has been laid across the river 
and the men enjoy the sight of troops, adapting their steps to 
its swaying motion. 

The 22d of June affords a variety of occupations for the 
regiment, though fatigue duty may be classed as the principal 
one. Rabbits are run down and the bathing advantages of 
the river are utilized. Unfortunately, Austin Williams, a 
servant of Colonel Osborn, while swimming in the river is 
drowned, and his body, though sought for diligently, is not 
found till later. The story of the ' ' pot of gold ' ' was realized 
this day, when a man in the Tenth Connecticut, digging in 
fort-making, struck the pot containing, it was said, $5000. 
Thoughtlessly shouting out his astonishment he was speedily 
surrounded by others so eager to divide that the share of the 
finder hardly merited the adage, "Findin's is bavin's." 
There is plenty of work for all of the men, with reports of 
heavy rebel forces near, constant picket firing and, above all, 
the gunboats are throwing shells in the direction of the 
enemy. Observing soldiers noted a steamer coming up the 
river, for which the pontoon bridge was separated that the 
vessel might pass through. When they heard the rumor that 
President Lincoln and General Grant were on board, they 
were extremely anxious to get a view of the Liberator. It 
was not for the Tenth Corps men to see him, but he did ride 
along the lines below Petersburg, and also visited the Eight- 
eenth Corps that he might see the negro soldiers, by whom 
he was received with expressions akin to idolatry. 

June '64. Deep Bottom. 321 

June 23d was scarcely more than a repetition of the clay- 
before, and at night the regiment relieved the Eleventh jNIaine 
on the left. During the 24th of June the exchange of shots 
between the artillery and the enemy continued without any 
apparent results. The regiment was directly interested in 
the transferral of its camp outfit from Bermuda Hundred, 
and tlie resumption of more comfortable camp life, while the 
heart of Colonel Osborn was gladdened by the finding of his 
mare, ]\Iadge. which had strayed oft' on the 21st in some man- 

Pencil sketch by Lieut. J. M. Barnard, Co. G. 


ner. Diligent search for her had been made, but without suc- 
cess, till this day, when she was found in the keeping of 
Quartermaster Thompson, he having recovered her from the 
possession of a batteryman who was riding her, and she had 
already been branded with crossed cannon, significant of the 
branch of the service she was expected thereafter to serve in. 
Fortunately for the owner, the new possessor did not attempt 
to dispute possession, but dismounted and gave up at once. 
The horse of Lieutenant-Colonel Hooper strayed away at the 
same time, but of him no trace was found. This day, also, 
the body of the seiwant of the Colonel came to the surface of 
the water, near where it had gone down on the 22d. It was 
brought ashore and decently buried. 

322 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Rhgiment. 

During the remaining days of June there is little variation 
in the rounds of digging and picket-duty. Company C goes 
below Four-mile Creek to construct fortifications and, later, 
Company A follows. The discovery of a well-filled ice-house 
on the estate of a nearby citizen is a boon fully appreciated 
by the soldiers^ who are determined that none of its precious 
contents shall be wasted. On the last day of the month noti- 
fications were received of the promotions of Captain Richard- 
son to be Major, Lieutenant Ordway to be Captain, Second 
Lieutenant Davis Foster to a First Lieutenancy. Also, the 
presence of Sutler Clark in camp convinces all observers that 
payday must be near. 

From that 4th day of ^lay, when Butler's army steamed 
away from Gloucester Point, and Meade's forces started 
across the Eapidan, there had been a period of almost unin- 
terrupted activity. The enemy had been harried as never 
before. For eight weeks there had been nearly incessant 
marching and fighting, involving the loss among the Vir- 
ginia Union troops of 70,000 men, fighting against great ad- 
vantages of position or shelter which screened the enemy 
against losses proportionate to our own, yet the spirit of the 
soldiers was never higher, more determined than when the first 
of July found them with their lines extending from the north 
side of the James to the southwest of Petersburg. Uncon- 
sciously they were settling down to a siege to end only with 
the capture of the city and the complete undoing of the Rebel- 
lion. While the wild music of war was heard along the entire 
line, during the month of July set engagements were less com- 
mon than earlier, that of the Mine, on the 30th, being the 
most conspicuous; there were well-earned intervals of rest. 
The campaign thus far had been strenuous enough to satisfy 
the most active and vigilant leader. The season was hot 
and dry almost beyond precedent. Till the 15th of July 
there had been no rain of any consequence for forty days; 
''the earth was so parched and baked that any movement 
raised a cloud of dust which nearly suffocated men and 

July 4, '64. Deep Bottom. 323 

horses, and revealed its existence, its strength and its destina- 
tion to the ever-Avatchful foe." "While of work there was no 
lack, of real fighting July brought very little to the ranks of 
the Twenty-fourth. Of the local situation the following 
notes from Colonel Osborn are a picture: "We get up pretty 
early here, for sometimes we turn out under arms at half 
past three a.m., and when we do not we are driven out of bed 
by the flies, which fill the tent and are most devoted in their 
attentions. In the dark they are quiet, but as soon as the sun 
begins to light and warm the tent, they commence their gam- 
bols, then good-bye to sleep." 

The 4th is so quiet that very little mention is made of 
it in regimental annals. Company A returned from its ser- 
vice below Four-mile Creek, the camp was visited by a whirl- 
wind, and the bands, far and near, tuned up in honor of the 
day, but otherwise the memorable July 4th had no recogni- 
tion. The Navy and the batteries at Bermuda Hundred did 
their duty in firing national salutes, the latter shotting their 
guns, by General Butler's orders, but the Johnnies took no 
notice of the same, therein acting quite contrary to their cus- 
tom. The nomination of General Gillmore to be Major- 
General, long hung up in the Senate, was about this time 
confirmed, and the announcement gave much pleasure among 
his friends in the Tenth Corps. Butler having heard from a 
deserter that the enemy contemplated attacking our lines in 
the morning of the 5th, the men were turned out at 3.30 a.m., 
but the attack did not take place. The location of the regi- 
ment when in camp is thus described by the Colonel : 

We are encamped on a bluff about forty feet above the 
water, on a little plain stretching away to our left along the 
bank of the river, and bounded at some distance by a thick 
wood. In front of the camp the plain dips into a little val- 
ley, then undulating once or twice rises to a hill, a little 
higher than we are, upon which are our intrenchments. Be- 
yond, another little valley and another rise to a level table- 
land, bounded at a mile distant by woods. Our pickets 
occupy this nearer edge of the table-land, resting at one point 

324 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Ehgiment. 

at a house prettily situated, and surrounded by fine trees. 
There is another house on the left where we have cavaliy 
videttes, at which we found an ice-house filled with indiffer- 
ent ice, which has proved quite a luxury. The enemy's 
pickets are in the woods, about one and a half miles from the 
camp, but they are very quiet. The river is very pretty, 
winding in tortuous course through the high land, and 
enlivened by the presence of two and sometimes three gun- 
boats and the constant passage of tugs and schooners. We 
cross on a pontoon bridge just below. * * Oh, the dust! 
It is pulverized so as to be almost impalpable, and rises at a 
breath. Wherever it touches, it leaves a yellow stain. We 
eat, drink and breathe it constantly. Morris Island was bad 
enough, but there the dust was sand, which shook ofi easily, 
and even seemed to cleanse one's clothes. St. Helena was 
horrible, but this is far worse. It is impossible to keep free 
from it and it deadens and almost destroys the sense of clean- 

Every journalist in the regiment recorded that on the 7th 
there was a rain of fifteen or twenty minutes, just enough to 
lay the dust for a brief time and to permit an unimpeded 
long breath. The 8th saw the departure for the North of 
Chaplain Willson, who had resigned on the 6th. Thence- 
forth the regiment was to be without the presence of a spirit- 
ual adviser. The Chaplain had held a high place in the 
regard of officers and men and all regretted his going away. 
Colonel Osborn relates that in one of the Virginia battles he 
saw the Chaplain moving up towards the front and asked him 
where he was going. ' ' To the front, ' ' was the reply, he sup- 
posing that was his place. He was not seeking danger, but 
he did wish to be where duty demanded. July 9th, a 
memorable day to the men who were fighting the losing 
battle against Early at Monocaey for the salvation of 
Washington, there was at Deep Bottom only the regular 
order of things. News arrived this day of the sinking of the 
Alabama on the preceding 17th of June, and loyal hearts are 
set aglow by the tidings. The longer the men stay here the 
more they approve the judgment of the cavaliers, who made 
this their habitation, and, perhaps, some thoughful Yankee 

July '64. Deep Bottom. 325 

wonders if he, too, would now be a rebel if his Pilgrim ances- 
tors had really reached that part of Virginia for which the 
Mayflower sailed. Jamestown and Plymouth, transposed, 
would have changed the history of their respective settlers 
and their descendants. The fields about are covered with 
grain in the shock or standing. "The wheat is of very 
fine quality, as it should be, for it is near Haxall's mills, 
whose flour always has been famous. It is now ripe and the 
rebels have been harvesting it as rapidly as possible. "We 
have sent out expeditions lately and destroyed as much of 
it as possible. It seems a great pity to burn large fields 
of this beautiful grain, but it is necessary to prevent its 
falling into the hands of the rebels, for we have not the 
means of bringing it away. For several days the smoke 
of vast fires has shrouded the heavens in all directions." 

The Twenty-fourth and its old friends of the Tenth Con- 
necticut are camped side by side on the banks of the James 
on the concave side of the curve, which at Deep Bottom 
becomes almost a circle. The regiment is on picket every 
third day, does fatigue duty the same, and rests the third. 
If men must be away from home in a military capacity, the 
present situation of the Twentj^-fourth leaves little to be 
desired. A campfire incident of these days is recalled where- 
in a roguish drummer-boy noted the back of Adjutant Ed- 
mands as he stood by the fire, also a metal based cartridge. 
Yielding to the mischievous impulse, the lad kicked the cart- 
ridge into the fire and immediately turned over feigning sleep. 
The explosion came soon and the missile hit the Adjutant on 
the thumb. Turning instantly and, taking in the situation at 
once, he leaped over the fire and, administering a kick to the 
pretended sleeper, gave him a good lecture for his prank. Says 
the boy of long ago, ' ' The kick hurt, but the lecture hurt worse, 
for I was verj' fond of Edmands, who lost his thumb-nail on 
account of my nonsense. I deeply repented of my foolish 

From July 10th to the 15th inclusive, little of special 

326 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

interest happened to the regiment encamped on the 
river banks. In that interval came much desired rain, rigid 
inspections, and the story of the narrow escape of the capital 
from capture at the hands of the Confederate General Early. 
The cutting of the railroad and telegraph lines between 
Philadelphia and Baltimore delayed considerably communi- 
cations from the north. The 16th revealed a little rebel 
activity in that a Confederate battery at the head of Straw- 
berry Plains opened on the Mendota, a gunboat lying off 
Four-mile Creek, killing and wounding several thereon and 
stirring up things at the headquarters of Gleneral Foster. 
Captain Bell of C with his company went out on a scout 
towards Malvern Hill to see if the enemy were construct- 
ing a battery where they were firing the day before. They 
went within one mile of the hill and brought back with 
them the only rebel, they said, that they had found, viz. : a 
little sucking pig. Also the day was notable for Deep 
Bottom in that Generals Grant and Butler visited the post, 
inspecting the works and the picket-line. 

In his official report of the reconnoissance, Captain Bell 

The command consisted of Company C, Twenty-fourth 
Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers. At dusk proceeded in 
pontoon boats to Curl's Neck, bivouacked at that place 
until 12 midnight, marched by the side of the banks of the 
river about half a mile beyond Maiden Hall Landing, thence 
took the road that crosses the plantations of Messrs. Allen 
and Taylor, being nearly a direct road from the river to 
Mr. Pickett's house near the Richmond road. At Pickett's 
house the road turns to the left, leading into the road to 
Richmond. I had proceeded three miles in this direction 
without meeting with any opposition or seeing any force of 
the enemy, when I came upon the pickets of the enemy on 
the Richmond road. My command having become much 
reduced in numbers, being compelled to station guards at 
the different cross-roads on the plantations, all of these 
cross-roads lead to some point on the Richmond road to 
the left. It being near daylight, deemed it extra hazardous 
to proceed further in such an open country with such a 

July 16, '64. Capt. Bell's Scout. 327 

small force, as the enemy could easily cut me off in my 
rear. I went within half or three-quarters of a mile of 
Malvern Hill ; a thick woods covers the top of the hill ; did 
not see any works of the enemy. The roads which I passed 
over were in good condition, the country level, many parts 
of it under cultivation, such as wheat and corn. Some of 
the wheat had been recently cut, I should judge during the 
night. Returned with command, arriving about 6 a.m. — 
R. R., Vol. 40, Part 3, p. 311. 

Certain of the officers of the regiment were pleased to 
receive on the 17th a call from Colonel J. Cushing Edmands 
of the Thirty-second Massachusetts, but formerly First 
Sergeant in Company K, also a New England Guardsman. 
His regiment, continuously in the Army of the Potomac, 
Fifth Army Corps, had seen all of the service of the ''Flank- 
ing Campaign," and the former Company K orderly had 
recently been advanced to the command of his regiment. 
With the prospect of a longer stay in camp, the men were 
ordered to cut boughs and thus try to ward off some of 
the fierce rays of the sun. This they did after considerable 
perspiring labor, and about the time their shades were up 
came the news that Colonel Osborn had received orders 
to move the camp over to the right of the Eleventh Maine, 
near the Bridge Head. The remarks of the weary shade- 
makers were decidedly forcible as they commented on the 
futility of earthly calculations, especially in army circles. 
The day had begun with a turn-out at 3 o'clock, under the 
impression, said to have come from General Grant, that the 
enemy was to make a concerted attack. The same hour for 
repairing to the works was observed on the 19th, but it was 
equally'' resultless. A mist prevailed at that hour and it 
gradually changed into a rain, but this did not prevent the 
striking of tents and the moving of the camp at 7 a.m. 
When the regiment went on picket at 4.30 p.m., the new 
camp was in order. The new location seemed better than 
the old one, being more free from dust, there being no great 
road near by. Of course the inseparable friends of the 
Tenth Connecticut moved at the same time. 

328 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

On the 21st, in advancing the picket-linp 200 yards, a 
few shots were drawn from the enemy, but, in the main, 
quiet rei'gned. The Eleventh Maine went across Four-mile 
Creek to Strawberry Plains on a scout. Colonel Plaisted 
has resumed command of the brigade. General Foster that 
of the division, and General Terry is at the head of the 
corps, General Brooks, who had been in command since June 
18th, having resigned his commission on account of wounds. 
Twenty men of Company I, under Lieutenant Williams, were 
sent to the bluff below Four-mile Creek to report to the 
commanding officer. The men who remained in camp gave 
some time to the arranging of shades above their tents, 
though there was fatigue duty for the most of them in the 
construction of a new road. The 24th of July impressed 
itself on the memories of the men, since on that day 
Lieutenant-colonel Hooper, in an unguarded moment, was 
taken prisoner by the enemy. As field officer of the day 
he was making his rounds, attired in a new uniform, "as 
handsome a figure on horseback as I ever saw," says one 
observer. The lines had been somewhat changed since his 
previous tour of duty in that capacity, and an advanced pick- 
et, on the road leading towards the enemy, had been drawn 
in. The officer of the day whom he relieved had not notified 
him of the change, as he should have done, so Colonel Hooper 
rode out to inspect the picket, whom he expected to find in the 
former station, unconsciously passing out of our lines in so do- 
ing. Suddenly an officer and five men of the enemy appeared 
and compelled him to surrender. This was on the Malvern 
Hill road, and though the Colonel fired several shots, so his 
orderly reported, he was taken away by the foe, a rich 
prize to the impoverished rebels. For the men in camp, 
there was a dress-parade, the very first since leaving St. 
Augustine, five months before. All the men were in blouses 
and looked exceedingly rusty, but the line was steady. 
There were many recruits in the line, to whom the parade 
was their first, and many a glance to both right and left 

July '64. , Deep Bottom. 329 

was necessary to see if commands were properly executed. 
Changes in command were frequent at this time, since on 
the 23d Major-general D. B. Birney assumed command of 
the Tenth Corps, thus sending Generals Terry and Foster 
back to their former stations, and Colonel Plaisted to his 

On the 25th, a brigade of the Nineteenth Corps having 
relieved the troops at Four-mile Creek, those stationed 
there, including Lieutenant Williams and his men of G 
Company, returned. The regiment went on picket. AVhile 
the Eleventh Maine, on the 26th, supported by the Tenth 
Connecticut, was skirmishing through the woods along 
Deep Run, the Twenty-fourth was performing its duties 
nearer the camp. Efforts were made to deaden sound on the 
pontoon bridge by the spreading of stable litter thereon, 
evidently preparing for the passage of troops. General 
Sheridan appeared at the crossing for the purpose of a con- 
ference with General Foster. All that night the Second 
Corps and two divisions of Sheridan's cavalry corps 
were crossing the James Eiver with the intent of 
attacking the enemy's left, and if the move should prove 
successful, of pushing briskly forward to seize Richmond 
itself. In this move, all of the troops were ordered under 
arms and the Twenty-fourth was advanced on the 27th to 
meet the enemy, going thus up to the Grover House and 
supporting a section of Rockwell's Battery. Companies K, 
A and D were thrown out on the picket-line. 

It was during this day, July 27th, that one of the most 
remarkable coincidences in military annals developed. Let 
the record of an observer tell this part of the remarkable 
story: "A reb came in and gave himself up, was taken to 
the officer commanding the picket ; one of our drummers 
recognized him and stepping up asked him if he were not 
McElhenny of Company F, Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, 
who deserted at Newbern. He said that was his name and 
that he supposed his regiment was in South Carolina, and 
that he had been firing at our boys all day. He also said 

330 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Rbchment. 

that the enemj^ was coming down from Richmond 40,000 
strong, and that we had better get out. The officer said he 
had heard enough from him and sent the fellow to General 
Foster." The wonder of the foregoing arises from the 
fact that, with more than 2,000 Union organizations then in 
existence, this poor wretch should have blundered into his 
own regiment where alone his recognition was possible. 
Major Stowits of the One Hundredth New York, describing 
the same event, writes: "While in the wood, a deserter came 
in from the rebel line in front. He wore a jaunty cap with a 
red band, and was dressed miscellaneously, as were the most 
of the enemy at that time. He looked pale and much 
excited. Pie inquired what troops are present. When told, 
he said, 'I am lost.' The regiment to which he formerly 
belonged was the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, and his own 
company from which he had deserted in North Carolina was 
supporting us, lying along a rail fence in our rear. He was 
at once recognized by the members of the company from 
which he had deserted. 'How are you, Frank?' was the 
salutation. * * * Had he come in on any other part 
of our line he would have been saved." The story in full 
of this remarkable incident is told in later pages. 

At 4 p.m. the line was withdrawn and the pickets were 
re-established on their former posts. During the day 
Sergeant Wm. Jelly of Company K and Corporal John 
Minnahan of Company A were wounded. The next day, 
the 28th, at 1 p.m. another demonstration was made, the 
Twenty-fourth advancing its picket-line, and skirmished till 
4.30 p.m., when, hy order of General Foster, it was with- 
drawn. There was little opposition and no loss to the 
Twenty-fourth. Elsewhere there was considerable fighting, 
Sheridan's cavalry encountering Kershaw's division of the 
Confederates, driving it back with considerable loss, inislud- 
ing 300 prisoners and two colors. The movements of these 
two days on the Union right seem to have been a part of 
Grant's tactics to mislead Lee as to his real intentions. Mott's 
division of the Second Corps was withdrawn to allow the 

July 30, '64. Mine Explosion. 331 

colored troops of the Eighteenth Corps to move towards 
Petersburg for readiness at the contemplated explosion of 
the Mine. So well did the scheme work, there was rapid 
massing of the Confederates on their left, but the purpose 
having been accomplished, the Second Corps was withdrawn 
in the night of the 29th, leaving only the original forces 
holding the works. The Avork of the regiment on the 29th 
was to dig rifle-pits in front of the camp of the One Hun- 
dredth New York. 

July 30th was the day of the famous Mine explosion, when 
at 4.30 a.m., the result of months of digging was realized 
in the destruction of the rebel fort (Elliott's or Pegram's 
salient) and the advance of the Union forces, among them 
General Wm. F. Bartlett, who had received his preliminary 
training at Fort Independence with so many of the officers of 
the Twenty-fourth. Here on the banks of the James there is 
little activity, though just before 10 a.m. the regiment is 
ordered under arms, taking position in the works at the left 
of the redan. After a brief interval the men were dismissed. 
The alarm arose from the enemy's pushing forward some 
skirmishers under the impression that we had abandoned our 
works. This and the day following proved to be among the 
hottest of an exceedingly hot summer. 

Again the theatre of Avar is returned to Petersburg, the 
greater part of the Confederate forces having moved off in 
that direction; still their side of the line is by no means 
deserted, as the Tenth Connecticut learned later in the 
afternoon of the 1st of August, when the enemy's pickets 
advanced Avith the customary yelling, only to be driven 
back by the ever Adgilant men from the State of Yankee 
notions. ''Then came the turn of our boys; and the com- 
plimentary yells, the hoots and the cock-crowing which 
followed them as they gave way and left the ground must 
have been soothing enough." In the camp of the Twenty- 
fourth, nothing took place more important than the fan- 
tastic punishment of sundry men Avho had straggled on 
their return from picket the day before. A private doing a 

332 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

stunt of marching with his knapsack filled with earth is 
always an edifying spectacle. Nor was the 2d any more 
lively, its principal item being the arrival of a sutler, who 
evidently concluded there were sufficient probabilities of 
permanency to warrant his so doing. Some of the men 
felt themselves under particular obligations to the Sanitary 
Commission, through whose kindly offices many of them 
this day had canned tomatoes for dinner. 

During these days exchange of newspapers was common, 
though we could not help noticing the cutting out, from the 
Confederate sheets, of all references to the Georgia cam- 
paign, making it look as though matters were not going 
their way in that part of the world. The sutler, to give his 
business a start, began issuing orders which many of the 
men were quick to take and as quickly turn into luxuries, 
and at the prices charged, it did not take long to dispose of 
a five or six dollar order, thus : cheese, 50 cents per pound ; 
canned fruit, 80 cents a can ; and butter at 60 cents a 
pound. In regimental annals, this was the day of the fire, 
when a Company D man, in destroying some cartridges, set 
fire to the shade leaves above his tent, the same being almost 
as inflammable as the powder itself. The fire swept through 
the street in short order, extending also to Company K and 
the band quarters. The occupants hardly had time to get 
out of their tents before they were consumed. Some of the 
men who carried valuables about with them, as watches, 
suffered considerable loss. The day's fatigue was the 
slashing of all the forest growth as far out as the picket- 
line. As usual some of the choppers were hurt by their own 

The approaching execution of McElhenny, the Company 
F deserter, excited a deal of interest on the 7th, for it was 
understood that he was to pay his forfeit the next day. 
One observer wrote : "I took a walk over to see him; he was 
shackled and six men stood guard over him. I remembered 
his countenance. He appeared to be anxious and could not 
keep still. He tried to control his feelings and to put on 

Aug. 14, '64. Deep Bottom Fight. 333 

an air of bravado. He was a hardened man." August 8th, 
according to all recorders, was notable in our history 
principally for the execution of McElhenny, the deserter. 
As the event is recounted at length elsewhere, its description 
is omitted here. Thence onward to the 12th, inclusive, there 
was little of note in the daily life of the regiment. Picket 
and fatigue followed each other ; recruits were coming in to 
some extent, some of them mustered-out soldiers of old 
regiments, hence well-drilled veterans. Green corn was 
added to the soldier's cuisine and many of the men thought 
they might fare a great deal worse. Meanwhile, the constant 
pounding over towards Petersburg told them what Grant 
was doing there, and Butler was working hard on his 
Dutch-Gap Canal. 


More strenuous days were awaiting the Twenty-fourth, 
since Grant, acting on information that Lee had seriously 
weakened his left to reinforce Early in the Shenandoah 
Valley, had given orders to General Hancock, of the Second 
Corps, w4th his own corps and Gregg's cavalry, together 
with the Tenth Corps under General Birney, to threaten 
Richmond from the north side of the James. The instruc- 
tions to Hancock were similar to those of the latter part of 
July, when he executed his former movement, except as to 
the manner of crossing the river. Great care was taken to 
conceal the movement and to give the impression that the 
troops were to be sent to "Washington; indeed, among the 
officers and men of the Tenth Corps, the report was general 
that the capital or the Valley of Virginia was the goal of 
Birney 's men. Of the regiment itself, it might be said that 
an impression of impending activity was widespread. While 
there were fatigue parties and a forenoon drill, it was 
understood that the preparing of four days' rations was 
ordered, and there was an assembling for drill in the after- 
noon, but the companies were dismissed. Extra ammuni- 

334 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

tion was turned in, but before the day was done, men were 
ordered to have sixty rounds. In view of probable moving 
the tentmate of Henry Manning of Company G, who had 
undertaken General Butler's mission in the preceding June, 
bundled up and sent to his Warwick home the latter 's 
Bible and album. The same tentmate writes: ''The boys do 
not seem inclined to turn in this evening. They are sitting 
in squads, talking or are running about the camp." Another 
day was to bring enough of sorrow to men of the Tenth 
Army Corps. To crown all the incidents in connection with 
the Twenty-fourth Regiment, this day Colonel Osborn was 
ordered to take command of the Third Brigade, Second Di- 
vision of the Tenth Corps. Remembering that Lieutenant- 
colonel Hooper was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, 
and that the position of major had not been filled, it will 
be seen that the organization was decidedly short-handed 
at the beginning of a forward movement. The command of 
the regiment devolved upon Captain Maker of Company K. 
Meanwhile orders had been received that the regiment must 
be ready to move early in the morning of the 14th. A 
graphic picture of how the night of the 13th appeared is 
given by the historian of the Eleventh Maine in the follow- 
ing words : 

In the night, a sultry one, with little air stirring any- 
where, none at all in the woods, we could hear the rumble 
of artillery wagons crossing the bridges from the south 
shore, and the trampling of a host of cavalry horses as 
they took the same road. We could not tell by what bridge 
they were crossing. The sound was evidently deadened by 
hay which had been strewn over the bridge, but still the 
dull roar of artillery wheels and the clattering of iron-shod 
hoofs came clearly to our ears, and then after a time there 
was a continual screeching of boat whistles, indicating that 
a large number of steamers were gathering along our river 
front. What it meant we did not really know, but it 
seemed to many of us as if our dream of a stirring campaign 
in the Shenandoah Valley was to remain a dream. Still, 
some sturdily contended for a time that what we were hear- 

Aug. 14, '64. Deep Bottom Fight. 335 

ing was but the arrival of a relieving force. But as the 
artillery rolled, the horses tramped, and the whistles blew, 
it became plain to these even that the crossing was much 
too large for a mere relieving one. There could be but one 
other meaning — for we were alive to the signs of the times — 
and we went to sleep, those who did sleep, with the firm 
conviction that when we awoke, it would be to fall into line 
to learn Avhat sort of soldiers occupied the rebeldom in our 
immediate front. The knowledge would cost, that we all 
knew; but what has a soldier to do with cost? Few if any 
of our soldiers let the prospect of a fight in the morning 
disturb their night's rest. Judging by reason and our 
experience, the next morning, it is more than probable that 
the pickets of the enemy were equally well informed of the 
prospects of the morning, for what we could hear so plainly 
could hardly escape their watchful attention. They not 
only heard and judged rightly, but they passed the word 
back to their line of battle. 

General Humphreys says of this project : 

The Second Corps was marched to City Point, and em- 
barked on steamers which left City Point for the lower pon- 
toon bridge at Deep Bottom at ten o'clock at night of the 
13th of August. The cavalry and artillery went by land. 
It was expected that troops would have disembarked, and 
the movement have begun by daylight, but the steamers 
were not adapted to the transportation of troops, and, owing 
to the shoal water, could not run near enough to the shore, 
and the tide was ebbing. This caused delay and it was nine 
o'clock in the morning of the 14th before the corps had 
disembarked. The plan of operations was for Mott (Third 
Division, Second Corps) to move on the river road [New 
Market], and drive the enemy into his intrenched line 
behind Bailey's Creek, and beyond it if practicable. 
General Barlow with the First and Second Divisions 
[Second Corps] was to move to Mott's right and assault 
the enemj^'s lines near the Jennings House [in the vicinity 
of Fussell's Mills], Gregg with his cavalry to cover the 
right flank. General Barlow was to attack the enemy's 
right near the pontoon bridge above the mouth of Bailey's 
Creek, and if successful was to move up the Kingsland, 
Varina and Mill roads, all of which are near the river bank. 

836 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Humphreys further remarks that if all of this could have 
been carried out, the enemy's intrenchments would have 
been turned and we should have had possession of Chapin's 
Bluff, the works of which, with those of Drewry's Bluff, 
were the chief fortifications guarding the river approach 
to Richmond. But the number of Confederates sent to the 
assistance of Early had been overstated, only Kershaw's 
division having been withdrawn, and its absence had been 
made good by the arrival of reinforcements from Lee's 
right. From the foregoing it is readily seen that it was no 
surprise to the enemy when the Union lines advanced; on 
the contrary, with their accustomed vigilance, the Con- 
federates were up and stirring as early as our own soldiers. 
The 14th of August was Sunday, as were so many of the 
fighting days during the war. It Avas 3 o'clock in the morn- 
ing when the men were turned out to get their rations and 
to take their places in line. Every man was in light march- 
ing order, being stripped to the least possible weight of 
outfit. Already those in command had received the order 
from General Foster, "You will charge the enemy's line at 
daybreak." Let one who was there, a private in the ranks, 
tell how the advance appeared to him: 

Our company (I) was on the left, and we rushed for- 
ward ; we bore off to the left, while the regiment had a ten- 
dency to the right. There were rifle-pits in front of us, and 
as we neared one of them a human figure began to unfold 
itself above its edge. Seemingly it grew to be the tallest man 
I had ever seen. He had been down to load, but I had the 
drop on him. 'Surrender!' I yelled in my heaviest tones, and 
he obeyed, coming out of his lair. As he did so, I extended 
my hand, saying, 'How are you, Johnny?' and he took it, say- 
ing, 'How are you, bub ?' a reflection on my stature that made 
me wish to shoot him then anyway. He was a member of a 
Georgia regiment, and passed on to the rear. Everybody was 
running his best to first reach the rebel works, just in front 
of us, and, as I could see, the race narrowed to Tom Carroll 
and Sam Reed, who were neck and neck as they cleared the 
works, both being in the air at the same moment. One of 

Aug. 14, '64. Deep Bottom Fight. 337 

the most active in this frenzied rush was Jack Sweeney, the 
man who interrupted General Terry's speech. By his alert- 
ness, energy and prowess he had gathered in half a dozen 
prisoners, when he was himself toppled over by a shot in 
his leg. Managing to balance himself on his remaining mem- 
ber, he took a farewell shot at the rebs and crawled towards 
the rear, getting one of the boys to stop the flow of blood 
by the use of a silk handkerchief as a tourniquet. On reach- 
ing the field hospital he was told that his leg would have 
to come off and the surgeon was about to administer chlo- 
roform. "No, sir," says the brave fellow, "just give me a 
drink of whiskey and I'll stand it with my eyes open." He 
got his drink. "Now another," says he, and, with the two 
drinks promised by his General, he saw his own leg taken 
off without a flinch or murmur. 

This brilliant dash of the Twenty-fourth is thus mentioned 
in the story of the Eleventh Maine : ' ' Then came a lull in the 
fighting, during which the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts came 
marching up in double column and, reaching the skirmish 
line, took up the double-quick, sprang past us and, setting 
up a tremendous cheer, rushed on the enemy's intrenchments. 
But not alone ; to the right and left, from the Tenth Con- 
necticut and the Eleventh Maine, sounded the charging 
cry and the three regiments rushed on the enemy's line with 
such vigor as to break it instantly, and the rebels, surprised 
by the unexpected assault, fled to their main works, leaving 
some prisoners in our hands. We found stacked guns and 
the remains of a half-eaten breakfast behind the captured 
works, showing that the rebels had taken advantage of the 
lull in the fighting to break their fast, and that many of 
them were so panic-stricken as to leave everything behind 
them. Our men, breakfastless, snatched at the freshly 
cooked rations of bread, cooked in the peculiar southern 
style (in skillets covered with coals), and at the strips of 
fat bacon, and, while waiting for the arrival of their own 
cooks with baked beans and coffee, satisfied the sharp moni- 
tions of their healthy Yankee appetites with the captured 
food." The sorrow of the never-too- well-fed enemy, as 

338 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

he contemplated his breakfast in the hands and stomachs 
of his foe, may better be imagined than described. 

It will be remembered that the Tenth Connecticut was 
on the skirmish-line, and the following description, written 
by their gallant Major Camp, fits well into the present 
narrative : 

There was a yell from the rebels in front; a louder crash 
of musketry. Our skirmishers stood fast, and drove back 
the advancing enemy, but on our left men came pouring 
back in panic. We helped their officers to rally them; the 
rebels dare not follow them up ; the line was re-established, 
and the fight went on as before. This had lasted more than 
an hour when the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, which had 
been held in reserve, came marching up in double column; 
they were to charge through the dense woods upon the 
rifle-pits beyond. We had orders to follow and support 
them. They moved forward splendidly, with well-closed 
lines and steady step; they passed us a few rods, and the 
undergrowth hid them from sight. We came after in line 
of battle. Not very sleepy work, such an advance as that. 
Two or three minutes passed ; the same irregular fire in 
front, and with a long tremendous cheer, the Twenty-fourth 
made their rush. Our boys needed no orders; a shout 
burst from every throat and the whole line dashed on. But 
instead of the fierce volleys we expected to meet, there, on 
reaching open ground, was the line of works deserted. The 
yell and the charge had been too much for the nerves of 
our friends in gray and, almost without another shot, they 
had turned and made the best of their way to the rear. It 
was a strong position and an attacking force might have 
been made to sufi'er a fearful loss. The Twenty-fourth took 
a number of prisoners — as contented and happy looking 
set of fellows as they marched off as I ever saw. No 
wonder ! 

The formal report of Captain Maker adds very little to 
the foregoing, but as a concise statement of the part borne 
by the regiment on the 14th, it is herewith presetited: 

I have the honor to report that the regimental line of 
the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts was formed at about 4.30 

Aug. 14, '64. Deep Bottom Fight. 339 

o'clock on the morning of Sunday, August 14, 1864, and, 
according to orders from Brigadier-general R. S. Foster, 
immediately proceeded up the Deep Bottom road at double- 
quick to the edge of the woods, halted and awaited fur- 
ther orders. Soon after we proceeded a short distance up 
the road, filed into the woods on the left, and formed a 
line of battle in rear of the Tenth Connecticut and the 
First Maryland Cavalry [dismounted], with our right rest- 
ing on the road, where we remained about an hour and a 
half. Orders were then received from Brigadier-general 
A. H. Terry to double column and fix bayonets. The regi- 
ment then made a charge [according to orders from 
Generals Terry and Foster] through the skirmishers of 
the Tenth Connecticut, driving the enemy from their posi- 
tion, and occupied their breastworks, capturing about fifty 
prisoners, and held the position till about 2 p.m., when 
orders were received to move by the right flank in concert 
with the Eleventh Maine, which was deployed as skirmishers 
on our right and front. After moving a considerable dis- 
tance to the right, again halted, formed in line, with our 
right resting in rear of the left of the Eleventh Maine, and 
sent out two companies on the skirmish-line to fill the 
vacancy between the Eleventh and the First Maryland 
Cavalry. At 3.30 p.m., being exhausted from long sickness, 
I was unable to remain with the regiment and relinquished 
the command to Captain George W. Gardner. 

Our loss up to this time was two men killed, one lieu- 
tenant and fourteen men wounded. — ^R. R., Vol. XLII, Part 
1, p. 754. 

Casualties at Deep Bottom, Virginia, August 14, 1864, in 
the Twenty-fourth : Killed — Pvt. John R. Oldham, Company 
B; Pvt. Patrick A. Mullen, Company H. Wounded — Pvts. 
Robert Bond, Cornelius Callahan, Company A; Corp. Wm. 
H. Bent, Pvt. "Wm. Wyman, Company C; Pvt. Philip T. 
Greeley, Company D; Pvts. John Heafy, Michael Lyons, 
Henry Newberry, Company F; Pvts. Patrick Coyne, 
Edward Gladding, Company G; Pvts. John F. Doherty, 
James Field, Company H ; Second Lieutenant Jarvis White, 
Pvt. John Sweeney, Company I; Pvt. Wm. McQuade, Com- 
pany K. 

340 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Monday, August 15th, was a quiet day by comparison 
with the one before and that to follow. Captain Gardner 
says: ''At 5 p.m., we moved out into the Kingsland road 
and remained till 11 p.m., when the march was resumed, 
and at 12.30 a.m. reached Strawberry Plains; formed line 
in rear of the Eleventh Maine and bivouacked for the 
night. Monday, August 15th, marched with the rest of the 
troops to the right at a point near Deep Run; formed line 
of battle on the left of the Eleventh Maine." The 14th 
had been a terribly hot day. It was usual in those times 
that a rainstorm should follow extreme heat, especially 
if there had been cannonading. These two requisites having 
been had in great abundance, it is no wonder that rain 
fell a great part of the night, and Monday dawned with a 
drizzling continuance. The men, so earnestly engaged the 
day before, were in reserve, while General Birney and those 
troops of his corps unengaged on the 14th, were searching 
for the Confederate left, his flank covered by Gregg's 
cavalry. The Second Corps held the line to the river, but 
Birney took so wide a circuit that he did not get into posi- 
tion before night. The companies of the Twenty-fourth 
that had been sent on picket the preceding afternoon and 
thence had gone back to camp, on this morning returned 
to the regiment, which was found some five miles away. 
The roads everywhere were filled with stragglers, but 
through all of them, men with a purpose were able to find 
their way; thus the cooks and supply wagons reached the 
regiment in bivouac, getting the rest that General Terry 
had promised them. 


If Monday, the 15th, was a day of rest, nothing of the 
sort could be said of the 16th, for that was to prove the 
most trying period of all the regiment's time of service. 
"Deep Run" or "Creek" was that day graven ineffaceably 
upon the memory of every survivor of the Twenty-fourth. 

Aug. 16, '64. Deep Run. 341 

In general, the movement was a continuation of the effort 
to tnrn the Confederate left. In the language of General 
Humphreys, "Birney was ordered to attack on the 16th, and 
Gregg, with Miles' brigade of Barlow's division, to move 
up the Charles City road to divert the enemy's force from 
Birney. General Gregg advanced at an early hour to the 
vicinity of White's tavern (seven miles from Richmond), 
driving the enemy's advanced force of calvary before him, 
their commander. General Chambliss, being killed. At ten 
o'clock General Terry, with his division of Birney 's corps 
and Craig's brigade of Mott's division, together with a 
brigade of colored troops commanded by Brigadier-general 
Wm. Birney, advanced against the enemy's works above 
Fussell's mill, and after a severe contest carried them, 
capturing three colors and between 200 and 300 prisoners 
from Wilcox's and Mahone's divisions. Colonel Craig, who 
had just returned to the army from an absence on account 
of wounds received during the campaign, was killed. The 
enemy soon retook their line, Birney retaining only the 
advanced line of pits, the picket-line. The wooded charac- 
ter of the country prevented personal examination by Gen- 
eral Hancock, and it was some hours before he was fully 
informed of the state of affairs. 

Captain George W. Gardner in his official report thus 
states the part sustained by the regiment: 

At 5 a.m. Tuesday, August 16th, with the rest of the 
brigade, we moved to the right, being on the left of the 
Eleventh Maine. Formed line of battle ; deployed two com- 
panies as skirmishers , right connecting with the Eleventh 
Maine, the left connecting with the Tenth Connecticut. 
The whole command then moved to the right; moved 
forward in line of battle through a thick pine woods, 
wheeling slowly to the left. About 10 a.m. the skirmishers 
encountered those of the enemy on the opposite side of a 
deep ravine ; sent forward Companies H and K to reinforce 
the skirmish-line. After being engaged some time, moved 
forward, the skirmishers charging those of the enemy, driv- 

342 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

ing them from their pits, capturing some 30 prisoners. 
Companies D and K being out of ammunition, were relieved 
by Companies C and Gr. The regiment then moved forward 
rapidly and found the enemy strongly posted in and on the 
opposite side of a deep ravine. The Eleventh Maine having 
charged and occupied a portion of the enemy's intrench- 
ments, Companies C, H and E pushed forward at the same 
time, occupying a part of the same works on the left of the 
Eleventh Maine, capturing some 25 prisoners. The connec- 
tion of the regiment with these companies being broken, 
moved by the right flank and established my line of battle, 
right resting on the Eleventh Maine and left in the ravine, 
one company [I] being thrown out to connect the left. 
This forward movement uncovered my left flank. At once 
sent word to General Foster, commanding the brigade, of 
the position of affairs on my left. Two companies of the 
Tenth Connecticut under Captain Goodyear were at once 
sent forward as a support to that part of my line. For a 
long time the regiment was exposed to a severe fire from 
the enemy, strongly posted, enfilading the ravine and 
breastworks he had abandoned. Several vigorous but unsuc- 
cessful assaults were made by the enemy for the recovery 
of the works from which they had been driven. The ene- 
my being heavily reinforced, finally succeeded in compel- 
ling the troops on my right to retire. This necessitated 
the withdrawal of my command, which was done in compar- 
atively good order, leaving but three or four men dead or 
severely wounded on the field. I at once formed line of 
battle on the opposite side of the ravine, rallying the men 
that had fallen back. Finding the troops on my left retir- 
ing, I faced my command about and marched in retreat 
about fifty yards and halted, reporting to the general com- 
manding the brigade. The brigade line was immediately 
formed and moved forward to within a short distance of 
the position we previously held, throwing forward Com- 
pany F as skirmishers. At 12 o'clock that night moved 
back and formed line, right resting on Colonel Hawley's 
brigade, in rear of intrenchments that had been thrown up, 
and bivouacked for the night. The list of casualties on 
the 16th was one officer. Lieutenant Jesse Williams, Com- 
pany B, killed, and three wounded; sixteen enlisted men 
killed, seventy-nine wounded and twelve missing. 

Aug. 16, '64. Deep Run. 343 

Incidents in the deploying to the left of Company I, as 
stated by Captain Gardner, are told by survivors. Sergeant 
O'PIearn. who had been ill and had just come up, was 
instantly killed. Blood is a deal thicker than water, as was 
evident when his old friend, Sergeant 'Brien, stooped over, 
saying. "Poor old chappie." quite heedless of the storm 
of bullets about him. His comrades pulled him down, he 
exclaiming as he dropped among them, "Thun deration!" 
his favorite expletive. In their ardor, the company was 
carried up to a point whence it could neither advance nor 
retreat without incurring great danger. It was here, close 
under the Confederate works, that a rebel officer stepped 
out and with a wave of his hand, said, ''Surrender, boys, 
for we've got you." He had hardly uttered the words, 
when Dennis ("Chub") O'Connor, standing behind a tree, 
with a deadly aim, fired, and as the unfortunate rebel 
plunged forward, shouted: "Surrender yourself. G — d 
d n ye," his act and words being received by his com- 
rades with shouts and cheers. It was in this advanced 
position that several of the missing men were captured, and 
as they went into the enemy's hands, they waved a good- 
bye to those who had stopped short of their advance. During 
these days of incessant fighting one of the boys, mindful 
of the hereafter, was accustomed to start his daily duties 
with: "The Lord is good and the d- 1 ain't very bad," evi- 
dently intent on a happy issue either way. 

Drummer-boy Yining of Company K had a novel experi- 
ence in this engagement. In his capacity as a musician, he 
was carrying wounded from the field. With three other drum- 
mers he was returning from the field hospital when he saw an 
orderly, belonging to the First Mass. Cavalry, fall from his 
horse. He had been struck by a bullet on the cap-pouch of 
his revolver with sufficient force to dismount him, but, as it 
turned out, he was more scared than hiu't. Vining knew the 
soldier and as he had a dispatch from General Foster to Gen- 
eral Terrj% the drummer essayed to cany it himself. Shorten- 

344 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Reigiment. 

ing the stirrups, he mounted and started, after locating 
Terry's headquarters flag. Somehow, he got off the road and 
ran into a rebel picket and was fired on, but he managed to get 
away and deliver his dispatch. On giving .up his paper and 
explaining how he came by it, he was warmly complimented 
by the General, and some months later received from him a 
medal, now a precious memento of the event. As the volun- 
teer orderly was growing faint one of the General's staff said, 
"Why, the boy is wounded," and, sure enough, blood was flow- 
ing freely from a wound in his left leg, but it proved to be 
nothing serious and he was soon about again. 

Every man in the Twenty-fourth held his neighbors of 
the Tenth Connecticut in the highest esteem, and their 
regard was fully reciprocated. In one of the thrilling 
moments of this day, when the firing was most intense, 
indeed our own artillery, through some inadvertence, were 
dropping their shells among the men on the firing line, mak- 
ing a condition difficult for the stoutest of hearts to endure, 
some of the men started for the rear, thus leaving a gap 
on the line nearest the enemy. Said Major Camp, writing 
of the event : ' ' Our boys sprang forward to fill as far as 
their thin line enabled them to, the vacancy, and with cool 
determination held the enemy at bay. The Twenty- fourth 
Massachusetts stood firm on our right^New England Yan- 
kees every man; all this was like a flash. As the break 
commenced our officers rushed among the fugitives, seized 
them and flung them back to the front. I haven't worked 
so hard since the Worcester regatta." Chaplain Trumbull 
was one of the most conspicuous officers as, revolver in 
hand, he was doing his best to straighten things out, and 
saying: "Boys, there are places where a chaplain can 
fight. ' ' The boys rewarded his conduct with three vigorous 

The duty of a soldier is to do and dare. Precious little 
does the man in the ranks know of the situation except in 
his immediate vicinity, hence the words written on the 

Aug. 16, '64. Deep Run. 345 

field itself have special significance. A confirmed taker of 
notes, with his eyes and ears ever open, of this day remarks 
the pleasantness of the morning, the dispensing of coffee 
by the cooks, the falling-in of the regiment and the orders 
to march forward till they found something: "We threw 
out a line of skirmishers [Company D], and moved about 
half a mile, when the skirmishers were engaged. The 
Eleventh Maine and the Tenth Connecticut were on our 
right and left respectively. The Tenth Connecticut, after 
we had driven the rebels from their rifle-pits, charged the 
breastworks and were supported by the First Maryland 
Cavalry (dismounted). The Eleventh Maine got inside of 
the breastworks, but had to fall back. Next a brigade 
of negroes charged, and then Colonel Osborn's brigade 
charged and took the first line of works. Then we on the 
left charged and came up to the works. Our company, 
G, was sent out to relieve Company D on the skirmish- 
line just before the charge, and then we moved forward. 
We skirmishers got into the rebel works and were mixed 
up with the Eleventh Maine. The regiment soon came up 
and formed line. The rebs had a sharp cross-fire on us 
as we lay in the ditch in front of the first line of works. 
I had a rebel knapsack thrown over to me, which I opened 
and took out four plugs of tobacco, and stuffed them into 
the breast of my blouse. I took out a letter, too, and threw 
the knapsack back. I read the letter, which was from 
Georgia, for a private in the Third Georgia Regiment. I 
was not half through the letter, when I began to think 
how it would seem for me to be shot while reading this 
rebel missive. I had not more than finished it when a 
bullet pierced my left arm, grazed my breast and cut in 
two my cartridge belt. I thought I was shot through the 
breast, and I jumped to my feet and made for the rear, 
getting one of the boys to tie my towel around the arm 
above the wound. My store of tobacco fell out when I took 
off my equipments, and then I realized that the weed had 

346 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

saved my life, for the plug had elevated my body just 
enough to prevent the bullet's passing through my breast 
instead of merely grazing it. The Indian weed surely did 
me a good service." 

While close up to the scene of action, the regiment was 
not activelj^ engaged during the subsequent movements of 
this "north-side-of -the- James" attempt to turn the Con- 
federate left. Resuming the report of Captain Gardner, 
we read : 

"Wednesday, August 17th, the regiment was engaged in 
no operations. Second Lieutenant Wm. Thorne, Company F, 
was severely wounded by a chance shot from the enemy's 
works. [He died on the 20th.] Thursday, August 18th, 
the regiment took part in no operation during the day. 
At 6 p.m. the enemy made demonstration along our lines, 
driving in our pickets; suffered no casualties. At 11 p.m. 
moved out of the works by the right flank, leaving Captain 
Partridge, with thirty-two men of Company F, on 
picket, to be withdrawn by the officer of the day. 
Moved back and took position near the New Market 
road, under the direction of the brigadier-general 
commanding, in rear of the First IMaryland Cavalry, 
and bivouacked for the night. Friday, August 19, 
the regiment took part in no operations. Saturday, 
August 20, the regiment moved out of the intrenchments 
at 6.30 p.m. and took up the line of march, reaching StraAv- 
berry Plain about midnight. Bivouacked behind the 
intrenchments and remained till 5 a.m., Sunday, August 
21, when the march was resumed, arriving in camp at Deep 
Bottom at 5.30 a.m. 

I deeply regret to report the loss of two valuable officers : 
Lieutenant Jesse Williams, killed instantly, and Lieutenant 
William Thorne, died from wounds. Three officers, Captain 
Edmands, Lieutenants Wilson and Hayward, are slightly 
wounded and will soon be able for duty. Lieutenant Sargent 
received a slight wound in the wrist, Sunday, August 14, 
that entirely disabled his right arm during the whole six 
days, but kept on duty with his company, and was not 
reported among the casualties.^ — R. R.. Vol. 42, Part I, p. 754. 

Of Lieutenant Sargent, one of his boys said : ' ' He was 

Aug. 16, '64. Deep Run. 347 

short and slight in figure, but if pure grit were pounds 
he would weigh a ton." Concerning Captain Edmands' 
wound ]Major Stowits. in his history of the One Hundredth 
New York, sslys, "The Adjutant of the Twenty-fourth ]\Ias- 
sachusetts had his lips cut close to his teeth without breaking 
the enamel, a marvel of close shooting." 

The report of General R. S. Foster, commanding the 
brigade, while a clear statement of the week's campaigning, 
adds little to the data already given. In the portions refer- 
ring to the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, he says: "At 7.15, 
the 14th, I ordered a charge, which was gallantly made 
at 7.35 by the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts in column of 
division, supported by the other regiments of my command 
* * * driving the enemy out of three lines of rifle-pits 
and into the main line of intrenchment, across a deep 
ravine, with considerable loss, capturing about 100 pris- 
oners, their dead and wounded and 200 small arms. * * * 
I desire to bear testimony to the gallant character of the 
troops comprising my command. * * * Captains Maker 
[who was forced by sickness to retire on the night of the 
14th] and Gardner of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts 
[w^ho subsequently commanded] deserve great credit for 
the manner in which they handled the regiment in the 
engagements in which they participated, both displaying all 
the qualifications requisite to competent commanders." 

Casualties at Deep Run, Virginia, August 16, 1864: 
Killed — First Lieutenant Jesse S. Williams, Company B; 
Pvt. Charles Phipps, Company A; Corp. Wm. A. Phinny, 
Pvts. Henry A. Clark, Samuel B. Gray, Company C; Corp. 
Jos. H. Wyman, Company E; Lieut. William Thorne, Com- 
pany F (died August 20) ; Pvt. John J. Ford, Company 
G; Sergeants Patrick Owens, Wm. H. Streeter, Pvt. George 
Clark, Company H; Sergeant Patrick O'Hearn, Pvts. 
Marcus Lyon, Marshall E. Smith, Company I. 

Wounded — First Lieutenant Alex. Hayward, Corps. John 
J. Dickson, John C. Gillen, Pvts. Timothy Hassin, John 
McKowm, Company A ; Pvts. Frank Bumpus, L. S. Bumpus, 

348 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

Thos. J. Greeley, Company B; Sergeant B. F. Stoddard, 
Corp. John McMahon, Pvts. Robert Johnson, Peter Powers, 
Company C ; Sergeant Thos. D. Gammons, Corps. Alex. 
McWhirt, John W. Martin, Lewis E. Whitney, Pvts. Geo. 
W. Bliss, Hugh Costello, Wm. H. Dodge, Thos. Fanning, 
Daniel Murray, Asa B. Nute, Michael O'Connor, John T. 
Phelps, Wm. J. Phelps, Albert A. Taylor, Geo. W. Thomas, 
Company D ; Corp. John 0. Bond, Pvts. John Driscoll, Thos. 
Malcom, Company E; Corp. James J. Dow, Pvts. Robert 
Clark, Maurice Cronin, George R. King, Company F; 
Captain Thomas F. Edmands, Pvts. James D. Delva, George 
A. Howard, Frank Morrison, Company G ; Sergeant Daniel 
Smith, Corp. Wm. A. Ford, Pvts. Oliver A. Kelley, Samuel 
Locke, John A. Lowell, Charles Lucas, Wm. Wrightington, 
Company H; First Lieutenant J. T. Wilson, Sergeant C. C. 
Dickinson, Pvts. Patrick Lines, John McCoy, Company I; 
Sergeant Henry K. Paul, Pvts. John W. Brown, H. F. 
Davis, Warren Haskell, James Holland, Thos. Horrigan, 
Thos. Mahony, Michael Mallady, Wm. Phillips, Jos. L. 
Sears, Company K. 

During these stirring times we have missed the presence 
of Colonel Osborn of the Twenty-fourth, but he was giving 
a good account of himself, though obedience to orders had 
removed him from leading his own beloved regiment. Com- 
manding the Third Brigade of the Second Division, it will 
be remembered that he left his regiment the day before the 
advance was ordered. That he was proud of the record 
made by his men is evident when he inscribes the following 
words to friends at home: "I hear the best accounts of my 
men. All agree in saying that they behaved nobly and fully 
maintained their reputation. * * * ]\/[y brigade was in 
reserve all the morning (the 16th), and was moved about 
from place to place. At about noon, it was posted on the 
brow of a hill just behind a wood, and near some batteries. 
The bullets whistled about us occasionally, but as they were 
apparently stray shots and only wounded onp man in the 

Aug. 24, '64. Deep Bottom. 349 

first quarter of an hour, we paid no attention to them and 
ate our dinner tranquilly. A little later, the shots came 
faster and I told mj' orderly to move my horse a little to the 
rear, where she would be sheltered by the hill. Soon after, 
I got orders to move over to the right and to support 
Terry's division. I gave the command, 'Attention!' to the 
brigade and then walked back and called for my horse. 
While doing that I felt a blow apparently in the back of 
my head which knocked me down. I w^as immediately raised 
and examined. It was found that the ball had struck upon 
the cord of the left side of the neck and had not penetrated 
the skin. The shock, however, numbed me and gave a 
buzzing sensation. * * * i felt mortified to go to the 
rear without even a scratch, but there was no help for it. 
I consoled myself with the thought that it was better than 
a sunstroke, which at one time seemed likely." Colonel 
Osborn was unable to return to his brigade before the 21st. 
In the night of the 21-22, the pickets were called in, 
light marching orders having been received, and at 1 
o'clock a.m., the Eleventh Maine, Tenth Connecticut and the 
Twenty-fourth were started off on another movement, recross- 
ing the James and taking the road leading to the Bermuda 
Hundred front. General Birney, commanding the Tenth 
Corps, had planned to assault the Howlett House Battery 
early in the morning of the 22d. and on account of the 
bravery shown by the brigade in the preceding days, to it 
was to be assigned the honor of leading the assaulting 
column. It was a fortunate thing for these devoted New 
Englanders that discretion instead of valor prevailed and 
the project was given up. While the trip savored some- 
what of marching up the hill and then marching down again, 
there were many souls in the regiments that were quite con- 
tent to keep soul and body together for a while at least. So 
back all went to Deep Bottom once more. August 24th, 
owing to the illness of General Turner, commanding the 
Second Division of the Tenth Corps, General R. S. Foster, so 

350 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

long in command of the Third Brigade of the First Division, 
was transferred to Turner's position and Colonel Plaisted of 
the Eleventh Maine again assumed command of the brigade, 
a position he was to hold for the greater part of his subse- 
quent stay in the service. On the same day came orders to 
be ready to march at a moment's notice. 


On the 25th, tents were struck, but the coming up of a 
shower gave the soldiers a taste of the power of Pluveus 
they would gladly have been spared, but Virginia rain was 
possible at almost any time. The next day, the 26th, negro 
troops of Paine 's brigade (Eighteenth Corps) came in and 
relieved the Third, and at 4.30 p.m. the men who had 
inaugurated the Deep Bottom movement started away to 
take places in front of Petersburg lately held by the 
Eighteenth Corps. The march was a memorable one for its 
discomforts, most graphically pictured in the story of the 
Eleventh Maine : 

The night was a dark and rainy one and the way lay 
through thick pine woods for some miles. The road was 
muddy and patched with puddles of water, lying in the ruts, 
the heavy wagons had made. The line of march was a bro- 
ken one, every man straying along as best he could, now 
stumbling through a pool of water, now running against 
a tree trunk. The grumbling and swearing can be imagined. 
We reached the Appomattox at Point of Rocks about eleven 
o'clock. By this time the rain was coming down in torrents. 
A wagon train was passing the bridge, so we had to lie down 
and wait its passage, during which, wet as we were, our tired 
men lay down on the muddy ground and napped as best 
they could. It was one o'clock before we started again. 
We crossed the bridge in the dark, guided across it by 
the flashes of lightning that now lit up the scene. The 
bridge was a long one, the Appomattox here running to 
wide swampy shores, across which the bridge was built from 
the high ground on each side of the river. After marching 
a few miles further, the storm grew to such violence and the 

Aug. 'G4. Petersburg. 351 

roads were in such a terrible condition that the order came 
to halt and to shelter ourselves as best we could. All we 
could do in the open ground we were in now, was to crouch 
down in the mud and to doze it out. We marched in the 
morning when the storm had cleared away, through a 
country of cleared plantations with abandoned houses and 
negro quarters. Petersburg was plainly in sight during 
a part of the march. We could see its encircling lines of 
earthworks, Confederate and Union. Indeed, everywhere we 
could see were earthworks, frowning guns and camps of 

About fifteen miles from Deep Bottom the outer line of 
works near Jerusalem Plank road was reached. The bri- 
gad'e was halted, and then in line of battle the men were 
marched up to the works, relieving the troops that marched 
out. Over our works could be plainly seen those of the 
enemy, nothing intervening. Evidently some of the artillery- 
men thought the new comers somewhat verdant, and they 
essayed some joking comments, which were answered in 
such a way as to convince the critics that men who had 
soldiered before Charleston knew what cannonading was. 
Near by was the crater, the scene of the terrible mine explo- 
sion of the preceding July, and those men interested in 
immediate history had a good chance to inspect one of the 
most remarkable cases of engineering in the whole course 
of the war. Here, during the remainder of August and till 
near the end of September, the Third Brigade was to learn 
what constant exposure meant. The tour of duty was some- 
thing like this, again quoting from the record of our Maine 
friends : ' ' One day of twenty-four hours, we would be on the 
picket-line in our front, placed along a run that intersected 
an exposed field, the enemy's picket-line lying on the other 
side of the same run. Here, in the head-high holes some of 
our predecessors had dug, we shivered through the night 
and boiled through the day, not daring to lift our heads 
above our rude earthworks till dark. Firing and observing 
were done through the rude embrasures, the banks of 

352 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

earth before our picket-holes were pierced with. Wlieu relieved, 
always at night, and just after dark, we would fall 
back to the front line of works (batteries connected 
with infantry parapets), to remain there forty-eight 
hours. Then relieved by incoming pickets we would fall 
back to our camp and ' remain till morning, the next day 
being spent on fatigue duty. Then after another twenty-four 
hours spent in camp we went on picket again, going over the 
weary round." 

At no time during the entire staj^ in front of Petersburg 
were the men off the danger-line, for even in camp they 
were hit by the enemy's missiles, and when lying in his tent 
a man might receive his death-stroke, but the picket-line was 
the particularly disagreeable place, on account of the con- 
strained position, the heat of day, the cold of night and the 
character of food and drink the situation necessitated. The 
Twenty-fourth knew what impending danger was, for its 
men had been through the siege of Charleston, but there, 
when not close up to the parallels, they were in comparative 
safety. Then, too, every man on picket knew that if the 
enemy were to attack, so close were the lines, it meant cer- 
tain death or captivity for him, since escape was clearly out 
of the question. During this Petersburg period while there 
were no charges either by the Federal or Confederate side, 
the incessant strain told upon the men and the mortality 
record was considerable, not to mention those who were 
wounded. No less than six men went thus to their deaths, 
Company D being particularly unfortunate, since three of 
its men lost their lives, w^hile one each from A, E and I was 
recorded. The man of Company I w^ho was shot on picket 
was George Gambol, and it was at the very end of the 
service here ; just a few more days of risk and he 
might have gone hence with his fellows. The foeman who 
shot him had no idea of the discomforts the Yankee was 
suffering, and, when the latter essayed to drain out the water 
from his drenched rifle-pit, it was for his enemy to fire the 

Aug. '64. Petersburg. 353 

fatal shot. One of the Company D killed was Corporal Geo. 
W. McKean. liis company was in line September 17th 
preparatory to going out, when a comrade, passing near him, 
said, ''Whose turn is it to-night, George?" This in view 
of the frequent deaths on the picket-line. "I don't know, 
perhaps mine," was the reply. As the friend wrote in his 
journal, "You may imagine my feelings when his dead body 
was brought in. The turn surely was his." 

Of course the days here were not without their incidents, 
some of them worthy of preservation. Thus when a cook 
of the Twenty-fourth, after long and patient care, had 
brought his beef-stew to a satisfactory condition and was 
lifting it from the fire preparatory to serving his hungry 
comrades, a vagrant shell from the rebel lines hit the kettle 
and dashed it to fragments, effectually ruining one fragrant 
repast. The picturesque profanity of that cook lingers yet 
in the memories of those who heard. Had he himself been 
struck, ho would not have thought of swearing, but the 
dispersidn of all his culinary efforts in this summary method 
was too much for his philosophy. ]\Ien grew callous to mere 
noise, and when permitted to sleep did so with a devotion 
never rivaled elsewhere, unless it were by the famous seven 
sleepers of old. James A. was a youth with a conscience 
which never troubled him, and when his stomach was well 
filled, and the call to duty did not ring in his ears, he could 
sleep on the verge of Vesuvius when in deepest convulsions. 
One night, the cannonading assumed proportions tremendous 
even for Petersburg; it seemed as though the whole earth 
were trembling under the terrible shocks. Apparently every 
other man in the regiment was out and, finally, someone 
missed the somewhat numerous James and fearing he might 
have been struck in his quarters he was sought, only to be 
found sleeping as peacefully as if in his own little bed in 
his quiet home. 

No matter what the danger nor how great the weariness, 
men and boys must be amused, and it was in these days 

354 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

that Yankee ingenuity suggested a leaden mortar, made by 
the soldiers themselves, whence with powder extracted from 
their cartridges, they would send up charges dampened 
and bullet laden, to disconcert the enemy, and, as the boys 
said, "keep them dodging," when the bullets rattled down 
among them. Again some of the younger soldiers essayed 
the old trick of boyhood with slings, and, k la David, threw 
leaden messengers among their Philistine foes, much to the 
surprise of the latter, who heard the hum of bullets, but 
did not detect the report of guns, until finally one curious 

Johnny sang out, "Say, Yank, what in h 1 kind of guns 

have you 'uns got over there that don't make any noise?" 
A good instance of the cool indifference is told of a party of 
Twenty-fourth boys in the outer line of works, who were 
whiling away the tedious time with a game of cards, when 
a Confederate mortar-shell dropped just back of them, and, 
in its explosion, made an excavation like a cellar hole. 
The boys were on their faces in an instant and covered with 
dirt, but unhurt they scrambled up and, long before the 
smoke had cleared, an ardent youth was exclaiming, 
"What's trumps?" 

There was not the least personal rancor between Reb 
and Yank. They exchanged leaden compliments as a matter 
of course, but when opportunity offered none could be more 
friendly than they. Of course it was not according to the 
rules of war, and for that matter the whole Rebellion was 
fought through in the face of no end of departure from time- 
honored notions of the old tacticians, but at times the men 
themselves, tired of so much shooting and constraint, would, 
as if by common consent, declare a brief truce and proceed 
to exchange papers, tobacco for coffee, and a score of other 
things dear to the respective parties. Then, as quickly as 
the armistice was begun, it would end and the trouble would 
begin again. It was in one of these intervals that a young- 
ster, belonging to the One Hundredth New York, rushed 
into the camp of the Twenty-fourth, saying, "I want a gun. 

Aug. '64. Petersburg. 355 

let me have a gun quick, I want to shoot the d d rebel," 

seemingly quite beside himself with rage. Of course he was 
prevented carrying out his attempt, and subsequent inquiries 
developed a bit of history that could be told of few coun- 
tries other than ours. It appears that an elder brother of 
the young New Yorker had gone South, before the war, had 
married there, and had ardently espoused the secession cause. 
After a time he had been taken prisoner and on his way 
down the James or Potomac in a vessel, found his own 
brother, not the one of this incident, in a seriously wounded 
condition. Instead of the meeting that one would expect 
under such circumstances, the rebel so far forgot all sense 

of relationship and humanity as to exclaim, "I'm d d 

glad of it, I wish it had killed you." The Union man reached 
his home and told his folks of the meeting. The younger 
brother, a mere lad, in time found himself in the army, and 
on this day enjoying the truce which was on. There he met 
the secesh brother, again in the field, and it was the latter 's 
exclamation, "What, you here, you — (an expression reflecting 
on the virtue of their common mother) — , " that so exasper- 
ated the boy. That he had provocation all must grant, 
but he was not allowed to gratify his feelings of resentment. 
Never were the amenities of war carried to a greater 
extreme than along the lines in front of beleaguered 
Petersburg. Says one man, "It was not an infrequent thing 
for us to meet in the corn-field in front of our works and I 
have taken the money of a rebel, found my way to the sut- 
ler and made purchases for him of things that he could not 
get in his own lines and the Johnny would give me a good 
piece of tobacco for doing it. At the same time, it was thor- 
oughly realized that every tour of duty might be the last. 
Indeed, these instructions were given when the tour was 
begun, "You might just as well consider yourselves dead, if 
an attack is made on you, for if one does come the line back 
of you will fire at once into you as well as upon the enemy." 
"Hence," says one veteran, "we sought out the most con- 

356 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Eegiment. 

venient places into which to stow ourselves if the Johnnies 
should manage to get inside of our immediate line." Yet 
when the enemy knew that the relief was coming, i. e., 
when the pickets were to change, there would be a cessation 
of firing as if by mutual consent. 

Spear, a Company D note-taker, says of his surroundings : 
"I awoke early and, with true Yankee curiosity, peeped 
over our breastworks to see what was in front of us, and 
great was my astonishment to see the boys in blue and the 
boys in gray apparently as friendly as if there was no war ; 
but it was only for a short time. An hour later had I looked 
over the bank, it might have cost me my head. The enemy 
comes to the same spring where we get water, which is be- 
tween the lines. They are very sociable and are always ready 
for a trade with our men. In a moment's time, it may all be 
changed, and, without warning, they may open fire on each 
other. * * * We are quite near Petersburg, the churches 
etc., being in plain sight. It appears to be a pretty place. 
Yesterday, the church-bells were ringing and the people 
were going to church and that, too, under a continuous fire 
of shot and shell. At night the sight is grand, for the num- 
ber of shells, seen overhead with their streams of fire 
trailing on behind like comets, make it a scene of wonderful 
grandeur, and still it is terrible when we think of the havoc 
caused by them. We are near the big gun called "Peters- 
burg Express." 

Perhaps Spear's notions of the nomination of McClellan 
for the Presidency in August, 1864, is a fair presentation of 
the average soldier's opinion, at the time, of the political 
situation; "McClellan was nominated at Chicago, on what 
is called a peace platform. Now, if I were in favor of 
stopping the war just where it is at the present time, give 
the rebels all they ask for, that is, return to them their 
slaves, pay their debts contracted during the war and, last 
but not least, allow them to secede from the Union, which 
last demand there was just as good reason for granting three 

Sept. '6-4. Petersburg. 357 

years ago as now, why, then I should vote for MeClellan. 
If I am in favor of a vigorous prosecution of the war to its 
bitter end no matter if it takes twenty year^, then I am in 
favor of the election of Lincoln. Some of the politicians of 
the ]McClellan class speak of the Avar as a revolution, but I 
consider it simply as a rebellion that must be crushed out, 
even if it does cost millions of treasure and thousands of 
lives. I think Lincoln has done as well as any man could, 
and now that he knows how to run the ship, it is better to let 
him conduct her through the storm rather than to change, 
perhaps for the worse. I have a high opinion of MeClellan 
as a military man, but I cannot vote for him for President." 
It was during the stay in front of Petersburg that the 
expiration of service of the original officers began and the 
first to be mustered out were Captains Daland and Maker 
of Companies H and K respectively. They had rendered 
long and valuable service and were now to return to their 
homes for the rest they had so richly earned. Colonel 
Osborn, in his brigade headquarters, refers to their passing 
their last night before departure, that of September 2d, with 
him. Their going left only Captain Redding of the original 
captains still with his company, though Hooper of B and 
Richardson of G, as field officers, were still with the regiment, 
at least nominally. Major Richardson was discharged for 
disability September 23d, and on expiration of service 
Captain Redding of A was mustered out September 22d. 
The same month saw the end of the regimental life of 
Captains Bell of C, Nichols of D, Partridge of F and Folsom 
of E, either on expiration of service or for disability. While 
there were other men ready for their respective places, their 
going made a gap in the list of officers sad to behold. 
Death, transferral and promotion were making important 
changes in the personnel of the regiment, so long and so 
justly conspicuous for its discipline, readiness and deter- 
mination. Enlisted men, also, who had fought the battles 
bravely, had finished their military course and had kept 

358 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

their plighted faith, were going home, so that parade 
occasions, if by any chance such should be had, would 
reveal a different line from those of Readville, Annapolis 
and Newbern, yet the Twenty-fourth Regiment was still in 
the field and as ready as ever to give a good account of 

The abundance of artillery along the battlemented front 
at Petersburg made it possible and easy to fire adequate 
salutes over recurring Union victories. The occupation of 
Atlanta, September 2d, by the Twentieth Corps, under 
General Slocum, was the occasion of the firing of a shotted 
salute at midnight, Sunday, the 4th, and the rebel reply in 
kind only added to the din, but what was strangest of all, 
it seemed that no one was hurt, though all agreed that the 
noise exceeded any ever heard before. Again, in the morning 
of September 21st, in honor of Sheridan's signal victory at 
Winchester, when he sent Early "whirling up the valley," 
there were ten rounds of shotted guns fired at the enemy. 
A certain portion of the Union defense was locally known as 
Fort Hell, but when the whole front blazed with sulphurous 
flames, it would not have been inappropriate to dub the 
entire front Avith its Confederate vis-a-vis, "hell and 
damnation." Fort Sedgwick, otherwise "Fort Hell," was 
one of the scenes of fatigue duty for men of the Twenty- 
fourth. "Damnation," over on the other side, was the sug- 
gestive title given to Battery Mahone. 

September 23d brought to an end the absence of Colonel 
Osborn from his regiment, since on that day, through the 
return of Colonel Bell of the Fourth New Hampshire and 
his resumption of his command. Colonel Osborn was 
relieved. The order of General Birney relieving Colonel 
Osborn bears date September 23d, and closes with these 
commendatory words : 

"In relieving Colonel Osborn from that duty, the com- 
manding General desires to express his approval of the zeal 
and ability with which Colonel Osborn has discharged the 

Sept. '64. Petersburg. 359 

In the same connection, General R. S. Foster, command- 
ing the division, says : 

"In relieving Colonel Osborn, the Brigadier-general com- 
manding takes great pleasure in testifying his appreciation 
of the able and energetic manner in which the affairs of the 
brigade have been administered by him, and takes this 
opportunity of expressing his thanks to Colonel Osborn for 
his valuable services and co-operation vrhile in command of 
the Third Brigade of the Second Division." 

The Colonel returned just in time to receive orders for the 
Tenth Corps to be ready to be relieved at night by the 
Second Corps and to mass in rear of corps headquarters, 
and that night, the 24th, the men had the privilege of rest 
and sleep undisturbed by Confederate attentions. Though 
the order incorporated the idea of rest and reorganization, 
those familiar with the characteristics of General Grant 
were not surprised w^hen, on the 28th, came orders to be 
ready to move at 3 p.m., but where? that was the question. 
Subsequently it was learned that Grant had determined to 
make another deiuonstration against the rebels' left, think- 
ing it much weakened, and that a sudden assault by the 
Tenth and Eighteenth Corps, both of them familiar with the 
territory, accompanied by Kautz's Cavalry, might capture 
Chapin's Bluff and enter Richmond before Lee could hurry 
troops to its relief. If he did withdraw from his right in 
behalf of his left, he would thus leave an opening for Meade, 
of which the latter would not be slow to avail himself. 
General E. 0. C. Ord had succeeded to the command of the 
Eighteenth Corps, and with his troops crossed at Aiken's 
Landing, preparatory to assaulting the works near Chapin's 
Bluff, while Birney was to advance by the Newmarket road. 
But as our quest is specific rather than general. Colonel 
Osborn may tell the story of the part performed by his regi- 
ment in this movement : 

360 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


We marched from our camp near Petersburg, Wednes- 
day [28th], at 3 p.m., and after, a long and very tedious 
tramp reached our old station at Deep Bottom at 2 o'clock 
in the morning of the 29th. We were allowed to sleep till 
half past three, when we started out for the front. We 
occupied a position on the flank, where there was no fight- 
ing. We soon had the satisfaction of hearing the cheers of 
our victorious men and then heard that we had carried the 
enemy's line and that they had left precipitately. The 
whole force then moved up towards Richmond, several miles 
by the Newmarket road. On the way a report was circu- 
lated that the Eighteenth Corps had captured Chapin's 
Bluff. I have not heard confirmation of it yet, but it looks 
probable. We reached more of the enerny's works before 
noon and the troops were placed in position to 
attack them, Terry's division in reserve. This attack 
was not successful. At 3 p.m. it was learned that 
Kautz's Cavalry, who had gone up on the Charles 
City road, were in sight of Richmond. General Bir- 
ney, thinking they needed an infantry support, sent 
Terry's division. We marched up the Darbytown Turnpike 
until within three miles of the city, and in front of the main 
line of works, where we halted to find out about Kautz 
and his position. I rode to the head of the column and 
saw the dome of the Capitol. I was just going further for- 
ward to a position where I could get a better view of the 
city, when we were ordered to return. It seems that Kautz 
had gone off on his own hook and could not be found, so 
that the presence of the infantry was needless, hence Gen- 
eral Birney ordered us back. It is generally believed that 
there is but a small force in and about the city, and that 
ten thousand men could have gone in there. Whether that 
is what Grant wants or not, I do not know. He has an 
admirable faculty of keeping his plans and wishes secret. 
We returned to our position near the works that had been 
attacked in the afternoon, and bivouacked there. I don't 
know what is to be done to-day. Now (7.30 a.m., the 30th) 
the troops are taking new positions and drawing rations. 
* * * The rebels must be in a very great strait for men 
when they leave their capital so weakly defended as we 
found it yesterday. * * * * ^he soil we are on now 

Oct. '64. Deep Bottom. 361 

and over which we passed yesterday has never before been 
trodden by a Union army, and I am happy to have been 
one of an army which first approached so near the doomed 
city. Richmond, I believe, can be ours at any time, but 
what we want is Lee's army, and that I think we shall get. 

The simultaneous movement of General Ord and the 
Eighteenth Corps on the Union right had been successful. 
He had assaulted and after desperate fighting had taken 
Fort Harrison, subsequently to be known as Fort Burnham, 
in honor of the Union General, Hiram Burnham, killed in the 
assault, September 29th, and with it a number of cannon and 
many prisoners. General Ord was seriously wounded and 
the command of the corps devolved on General Charles A. 
Heckman. The efforts to gain the Confederate works nearer 
the river were defeated through the presence and activity 
of the enemy's gunboats. Also a similar attempt to capture 
Fort Gilmer on the Union right was repulsed through the 
heavy reinforcements which had been thrown in. So severe 
seemed the loss of Fort Harrison to the enemy that on the 
30th he made strenuous efforts to recapture it, but without 
success. The failure to capture Fort Gilmer was a source of 
regret to General Grant, who had appeared on the scene, for 
its possession was essential to the command of the rebel 
defenses at Chapin's Bluff. 

October 1st, General Terry reconnoitered to the right with 
a brigade, but the men of the Third Brigade, except the 
Tenth Connecticut, remained in their works, lengthening the 
line to cover the position held by the regiments now on the 
reconnoissance. The Tenth had been sent up to the front to 
oppose the sending of reinforcements against Terry. At 
night, the Connecticut men fell back to their old place. Gen- 
eral Terry and his party having returned. This period of 
time is recalled by all interested as one of extreme discom- 
fort, since the day before, rain had begun, and both officers 
and men were without shelter except for the blankets they 
carried. All night long the men suffered from the driving 

362 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

rain, getting what rest they could in the mud, and wishfully 
looking for the morning, though that brought them no 
relief, for Chaplain Trumbull said it was only a change from 
a horizontal to a perpendicular bath. Several days were 
spent in strengthening the positions and in keeping a sharp 
outlook for the enemy, the latter making a demonstration on 
the 2d which seemed to indicate a determination to assault. 
Indeed almost every day brought some hostile movement 
from the Confederates, who, as it appeared later, were 
really feeling of the entire line, trying to find a place where 
they might make a breach. During these days, the baggage 
came up and with shelter tents the men were able to keep 
out a little of the weather. Deserters were constantly 
comin-g in and those of the 6th reported that an assault 
was projected for the 7th of the month. 


Writing on the field itself at 1.30 p.m. of the 7th, Colonel 
Osborn says : 

We are lying now in the woods, a little in the rear of the 
position which we have occupied for the past week, and 
having just repulsed with much slaughter a furious attack 
of the rebels, I have a breathing-spell, which I devote to 
writing. We knew last night that we should be attacked 
this morning and were surprised when an hour of daylight 
passed without any alarm. Between 6 and 7 o'clock 
we heard heavy firing on our extreme right, which was our 
most exposed point ; as it increased and came nearer, our 
brigade was moved from its position to a point beyond the 
former right of the line, in order to prevent our being 
flanked. We marched on the road towards Deep Bottom 
about a mile, then marched in line of battle into the wood, 
about 500 yards, connecting with other troops already in 
position. This was at about 9.30 a.m. We lay there about 
an hour, during which the skirmishers in front were hotly 
engaged. After a while the firing became much heavier, and 
the bullets flew past us much more thickly, showing that the 
enemy had brought up a line of battle. Our skirmishers fell 

Oct. 7, '64. Darbytown Road. 363 

back, at first slowly and then with a rush, breaking through 
my ranks, and then going to the rear. They were not my 
men. This did not, as I had feared, throw my men into any 
confusion ; they stood quiet and waited coolly for my orders. 
I could see them watching my face eagerly, as men always 
do watch their commanding officer in battle, so I called for 
three cheers, which were given with a will. The enemy came 
in sight at this moment and we poured in a heavy fire, which 
drove them back. The fire was heavier on my left than on 
my immediate front. In a few moments firing broke out on 
my right, which did not connect immediately with anything, 
but the Tenth Connecticut, which lay a little in rear, wel- 
comed so many of them to bloody graves that the rest retired 
with haste. Then we went to work to* throw up a little 
breastAvork to make our position more secure if they should 
charge again, and while the men are working, I write this 
line. Some prisoners were taken, among them a wounded 
officer of the Fifth South Carolina. They all agree that we 
slaughtered them fearfully. They say they have never met 
with so great a loss in any battle. My own regimental loss 
is small as yet, not more than half a dozen, of whom one 
[Merritt of I] was killed. Regiments on my left have 
suffered more severely. Orders have just come to advance. 

3.45 p.m. We have advanced slowly a short distance with- 
out seeing the enemy, and are now waiting again. What 
we shall do next is not known. It is now said that the 
enemy are again trying to turn our right, but that story is 
subject to caution. It is a lovely day, clear and bright, 
with the sun just pleasantly warm, but not oppressive. I 
have as usual had reason to feel proud of the conduct of 
my men. They have been perfectly cool and steady, have 
attended ' to orders, and have obeyed them promptly and 
intelligently; I feel the utmost confidence in them, for I 
am satisfied they will always do their duty. I received 
orders yesterday assigning me to the command of a brigade. 
I did not like that and I accordingly asked General Birney 
to revoke the order, which he did. 

8.30 a.m., October 8th. After writing the above we 
advanced about half a mile. The enemy had retreated, 
having utterly failed -to accomplish his purpose and having 
met with considerable loss. They are said to have returned 
to Richmond. Lee was present, directing the movement 
in person. The affair came near being serious for us, for 

364 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

the cavalry who guarded onr right were driven back flying, 
and but for Terry's division, our communications would 
have been cut. Our division prolonged our right, met the 
rebels at every point and, as one of the prisoners said, they 
were "handsomely" foiled. 

Thus far we have the story as it appeared to Colonel 
Osboru. writing during the progress of the fight. In the 
light of subsequent knowledge the following, abridged fro7n 
the History of the Eleventh Maine, is apropos : 

The right flank of our force (the Third Brigade held the 
extreme infantrj^ position on tjiat flank) was covered by 
Kautz's Cavalry. His position was on the Darbytown road 
at the Confederate line of intrenchments, which we had 
captured on September 29th, and between us stretched a 
swamp. He had 1700 men and two batteries. So threatening 
was his position that the greater part of two Confederate 
divisions, Field's and Hoke's with a cavalry force, moved 
out on the night of October 6th, and, at sunrise of the 7th, 
attacked Kautz on his front and right flank. He could not 
stand up against the attack and, in falling back 
through the swamp, by the narrow road crossing it, found 
the rebel cavalry there before him. Leaving them his eight 
guns, his men made a desperate attempt to get under the wing 
of our division, scouring the woods in flying groups. About 
as soon as the roar of the enemy's attack on Kautz came to 
our ears, the advance of the broken cavalry squadrons came 
dashing through the woods on our flank, riding recklessly 
through branches and copses. Almost immediately our 
division left its intrenchments on the double-quick, for a 
position at about a right angle to the one we had held. 

Our brigade was moved down the Newmarket road in 
the direction of Deep Bottom for a mile and a half, when 
line of battle was formed near the junction of the New- 
market and Varina roads, and had moved forward a hun- 
dred yards or so, when we were fired upon by the enemy. 
We were now at right angles with our former position. 
Hawley's brigade was on our left. Skirmishers were thrown 
out, who were quickly and fiercely engaged. Heavy artillery 
firing was now heard on the line we had hurried from, and 
musketry firing came rolling down the line towards us as 
the enemy's skirmishers pressed along it to find the extreme 

Oct. 7, 'G4. Darbytown Road. 365 

right of our line, which was held by our brigade. Having 
found it, the rebel commander prepared his assaulting 
column under cover of a strong skirmish attack. His line of 
skirmishers pressed forward closely to ours, and the rebel 
battalions formed for attack close to their skirmish-line, in 
order to lessen the distance over which they must rush. 
Thick woods were all around us, but, for some distance in 
our front, was clear of underbrush. Suddenly the roar of 
skirmishers in our front told us that they could see the 
rebel brigades in motion. Then skirmishers came flying back 
through the woods, and a yell broke out beyond them. 
Scarcely w^aiting for our men to get in, indeed some of them 
had to throw" themselves on the ground and lie there during 
the engagement, we opened a furious fire on the rebels as 
they broke cover and swept forward with their fierce battle 
yell. Instantly the volleys opened on them and, amid a cloud 
of smoke, they pressed on, their battle flags flaunting and 
their officers urging them forward. Then on our left burst 
forth the roar of the seven-shooters of Hawley's brigade. 
Seven volleys in one ! Flesh and blood could not stand such 
a cyclone of lead and the rebels stopped, broke and fell 
back to cover, leaving the woods piled with their dead and 

But they did not give up the attack. Once in shelter, they 
turned and opened a fierce fire upon us, their shower of bul- 
lets tearing through the Avoods in a whistling storm. A 
regiment at our extreme right had broken and fallen to the 
rear during the enemy's assault, leaving the flank entirely 
exposed. Xo effort was made to stop their retrograde move- 
ment, wasting no time on them, but the Tenth Connecticut, 
now on the flank, was called on to swang its right a little 
to the rear, and face the rebel line that was now seeking to 
move round our right flank. On the Tenth Connecticut, the 
Eleventh Maine and the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts now 
rested the fate of the day. The blood of the men was up. 
They had the enemy outside of his intrenchments, man to 
man for once, and although the three regiments were so sadly 
reduced by the casualties of the campaign that they could 
not have had more than 600 men in their brigade-line, they 
were strong in courage and ardor and had no thought of 
giving way. 

Writing to his home of this engagement. Major Camp of 
the Tenth Connecticut said: "The men needed little in the 

366 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

way of encouragement and orders — thej^ knew just what to 
do, and did it. At the first fire the regiment on our right 
turned and fled. Our men saw it, knew that our flank was 
exposed, nothing there to hinder the immediate advance of 
the enemy. Nothing is so apt to shake men into a panic. 
Our men paid no other attention to it than to give a rousing 
cheer, just to show the enemy that they had no intention 
of giving ground, then turned steadily to their work. Each 
man stood fast. There was no random firing in the air, but 
rapid loading, cool aim, and shots that told. It was good to 
see such fighting. Those whom we met were no raw recruits. 
They fought well for a while, though unable to advance ; they 
stood their ground. Broken once, they rallied at the urging 
of their officers, and once more tried to move forward 
through the fire that mowed them down. It was of no use ; 
again thrown into confusion, they fell back, leaving their 
dead and wounded on the field. The three New England 
regiments of our brigade are as good men as ever fought." 
The Eleventh Maine History remarks further: "The New 
England regiments of Plaisted's brigade were particularly 
proud of this victory, as it was won largely by their steadi- 
ness while outflanked and in the open field, man to man, 
without artillery on either side, and the men opposed to 
us were of Longstreet's famous corps. The loss of the enemy 
was very large. Among the killed was General John Greeg, 
commanding the Texas Brigade, a gallant commander, and 
General Bratton, of the South Carolina Brigade of Field's 
division, was wounded. Our own losses were not large. As 
the enemy disappeared in the forest, reinforcements came 
running up to our assistance. Scouts were immediately 
sent forward to ascertain whether the rebels had retreated 
or were forming for another attack. As they reported that 
the enemy seemed to be in full retreat, the brigades were 
moved forward rapidly over the battlefield, to press vig- 
orously upon the enemy's rear, but the Confederates had 
retreated so rapidly that they were through the swamp and 

Oct. 7, '64. Darbytown Road. 367 

on the DarbytoAvn road before we could strike a blow. Retir- 
ing within their works, they resumed the defensive attitude, 
and this was the last Confederate assault made on the north 
side of the James." 

An amusing incident of the morning is told of a Com- 
pany I man, known among his fellows as "Commodore" 
O'Neil, and he was not much of a soldier who did not have 
his special nickname. O'Neil was on the skirmish-line and 
was doing his duty as he saw it. Owing to the heat of the 
day and that incident to his work, and excitement, he had 
laid his canteen and haversack at his feet. The rebels in 
their search for that weak spot were working from the left 
and were upon our soldier almost before he detected their 
presence. Saluted with a thundering "surrender!" he had 
started back on a run, but thinking of his forsaken posses- 
sions, he turned back and, like a modern baseball player mak- 
ing the home base, he "slid in," and as the Johnny was 
stooping to pick up the precious outfit of the "Commodore," 

the latter shouted, "Not by a d d sight, them's mine!" 

he grabbed them and made good his escape amidst a rain 
of lead. 

At nightfall, after this eventful day, position was taken 
near where the battle had been fought and intrenchments 
were thrown up, and, for the better part of a week, this 
work and the arranging of a camp claimed the attention 
of the men. Writing on the 11th of October, Colonel Osborn 
says : ' ' Everything continues quiet ; there are rumors of 
more troops to come here, and some are sanguine of the 
early capture of Richmond. The Tenth Connecticut soldiers 
are voting to-day, and the vote stands almost unanimous 
for Lincoln. That is the feeling of the whole army." 

Casualties. Darbytown Road, October 7, 186-i, in the 
Twenty-fourth. Killed — Pvts. Patrick Connolly, James 
'Conor, Company K. 

Wounded — Sergeant Charles H. Jones, Company A; 
Pvt. Jason L. Coffin, Company C; Corp. Charles W. Part- 

368 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

ridge, Pvts. John C. Mahony, Houghton Tower, Charles B. 
Young, Company D; Pvt. E. W. Merritt, Company I; Pvt. 
John Hallows, Company K. 

October 12th, soon after noon, the whole of the First 
Division, now under the command of General Adelbert 
Ames, General Terry having taken the place of Birney at 
the head of the corps, was ordered out. It was a recon- 
noissance in force, and at half past four the division passed 
out through the sally-port of the new works. On reaching 
the Cox farm, open ground before the works, it was learned 
that a flag of truce was up between the two armies, so the 
regiments marched back to their own lines. At 3 o'clock 
in the morning of the 13th, the men were called out again, 
and by 4 o'clock they were moving out of their works. 
The morning light was dim as the men strode on across 
the Cox farm, through the swamp and formed for attack 
on the Johnson plantation, where Kautz and his cavalry 
were again in position. Thence moving across the Darby- 
town road to the extensive plains lying between it and the 
Charles City road, the advance was begun. Chaplain Trum- 
bull of the Tenth Connecticut writes in the following 
eloquent strain of the scene : 

The morning was delightful. It was the opening of a 
bright October day. The air was clear and bracing. The 
first rays of the rising sun were reflected from one frosted 
surface of the wide-spreading grassy fields, and from the 
many hued forest-trees beyond, as the skirmishers of three 
brigades deployed, and moved in their wavy line, extending 
far to the right and left up towards the line of woods where 
the enemy's mounted videttes were distinctly seen. Mounted 
officers rode hither and thither. Corps, division and brigade 
flags were in sight. Long lines of infantry with flashing 
arms and waving standards M^ere coming up by the flank 
or advancing in battle-front. Cavalry with rattling sabres 
and fluttering camp-colors clattered along the road, and the 
brilliant guidons of the artillery, yet far in the rear, signaled 
the approach of the rumbling batteries. The first line of 
skirmishers opened. The enemy's advanced line was easily 

Oct. 13, '64. Darbytown Road. 369 

pressed back to his strongly intrenched position beyond the 
Avoods. For several hours the fighting was brisk between the 
opposing skirmishers, the main force halting in line of battle 
in close reserve. Pond's brigade, reinforced by the Tenth 
Connecticut, assaulted the enemy's works, but was repulsed 
and the entire force fell back and took position again be- 
hind the works. 

It was during the foregoing assault that brave Major 
H. W. Camp of jthe Tenth, so often referred to in these 
pages, lost his life. There were few if any men in the 
Twenty-fourth who had not a warm place in their hearts 
for this splendid soldier. Years have not effaced the 
impression that he and his inseparable, Chaplain Trumbull, 
made on every one whom they met. After more than forty 
j^ears it is no infrequent remark among the survivors of the 
Twenty-fourth, when the Connecticut Major is mentioned, 
''I tell you he was a dandy." David and Jonathan were not 
nearer to each other than the Major and his Chaplain, and 
of the death of his alter ego, the clergyman wrote, ' ' Waving 
his sword, he called aloud cheerily, 'Come on, boys, come 
on ! ' then turned to the color sergeant, just emerging from 
the thicket, that he might rally the men on the regimental 
standard. As he did so, a bullet passed through his lungs 
and, as he fell on his side, he was pierced again and yet 
again by the thick-coming shot. His death was as by the 
lightning's stroke. His eyes scarce turned from their glance 
at the tattered, dear old flag ere they were closed to 
earth and opened again beyond the stars and their field of 
blue." Rifled and stripped of his outer garments, his body 
was hastily buried by the enemy, but under a flag of truce 
it was rendered back to his friends the following day, with 
expressions of regret at the indignities it had suffered. His 
personal diary, also taken at the time, was not returned till 
later, and the same formed the foundation of the charming 
story of the officer's career, prepared by his friend," Chaplain 
Trumbull, and called "The Knightly Soldier," and from 
which so many quotations have been taken for the embel- 

370 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Ebgiment. 

lishment of this work. Of his nearest friend in the army, 
Chaplain H. Clay Trumbull, much if not all already 
expressed concerning the Major might be fittingly said. 
He appeared to be about all that a chaplain could be, and 
men of every regiment in the brigade never cease to chant 
his praise. He cared for the sick, and in the pursuit of his 
duties had not the least fear of the firing-line.* 

Of the immediate part borne by the Twenty-fourth, 
Colonel Osborn, again writing from the field, says: 

When I wrote you last from the field of battle, I was rest- 
ing after the repulse of the enemy. Now as I write, the 
bullets are flying quite thickly, and our skirmishers, a short 
distance in front, are briskly engaged. Our line is in a 
dense wood. It is not engaged, but the balls reach and pass 
us and several have been wounded in the line. We are 
some distance in front of our fortifications, having moved 
out to attack the enemy. The day is a lovely one, with a 
bright sun and a cool wind. A heavy rain-fall of last night 
cooled the air. My writing is not very legible, for I am 
standing and leaning against a tree. 

3 p.m. Tn camp ; I have got back safely. The loss of 
the regiment in killed, wounded and missing is twenty-six, 
about ten per cent, of the number we took into the fight. 
The affair was a reconnoissance and developed what we 
wanted to know. At the conclusion, the enemy got some 
advantage of us and we retired with more loss than it 
should have cost us. Our troops charged a fort and were 
repulsed with heavy loss. This seems to have been unneces- 
sary, as our object could have been obtained without it. 
That opinion may not be good for much, as I am not in so 
good a position to judge as the generals. My regiment was 
not in the charge. My men behaved splendidly as usual. 

*The Rev. H. Clay Trumbull, as the long-time editor of the Sunday 
School Times, published in Philadelphia, won a reputation as wide as 
the nation. Eloquent in the pulpit, indefatigable in all ministrations 
for good, he was as useful in civil life as he had been in his military ex- 
perience. His "Knightly Soldier" and his "Experiences of a Chaplain," 
both admirable books, constitute the only history of the Tenth Connect- 
icut as yet written. Much to the sorrow- of all friends and admirers, 
his life, ever devoted to the betterment of his fellow men, was closed by 
apoplexy, Dec. 8, 1903, at his home in Philadelphia, aged 7.3 years. 

Oct. 13, '64. Darbytown Road. 371 

Though not in the charge so disastrous to the Tenth Con- 
necticut, the Twenty-fourth had its full quota of exposure, 
as the record of five enlisted men killed, one commissioned 
officer and sixteen enlisted men wounded, with five men 
missing, clearly indicates. The skirmish-line is seldom a 
bower of ease, and the way men this day were served shows 
what was encountered. One of the survivors, long years 
afterwards, tells the tale of his comrade and himself dining 
off the meat found on a sow-belly piece of raw pork, and the 
jeers that Sam Reed, their comrade, indulged in at their 
expense ; also of how Reed, whose hunger finally got the bet- 
ter of his repugnance, remarked, "After all, if there is any 
meat left, I'll just sample it;" and finding it edible said, 
' ' 'Tain 't more 'n half bad. ' ' Just forty years later one of the 
duet called upon his comrade, Henry Rogers of Worcester, 
and asked him if he remembered what they had to eat forty 
years before. The surprised veteran hesitated a moment, 
then with an exultant look exclaimed, "Pork, by thunder!" 
As the regiment was falling back and our artillery was 
playing over it, the band struck up the "Star Spangled Ban- 
ner." The effect was electrical,, the men began to cheer, 
halted and wanted to go back again, but hard-headed dis- 
cretion prevailed over sentiment and valor. 

The official report of Colonel Osborn for the 13th of 
October follows : 

The regiment moved out of the camp with the rest of 
the brigade at 4 a.m., and marched to Gerhardt's house, near 
and north of the Darbytown pike. At this point it entered 
the Avoods in line of battle, marching parallel to the pike, 
having the Second Brigade on its left and the Eleventh 
Maine on its right. A strong skirmish-line was pushed for- 
ward under command of First Lieutenant John T. Wilson, 
which pressed back the enemy's skirmishers, driving them 
out of their rifle-pits and across a slashing to the woods 
beyond. My skirmishers immediately occupied the woods 
on the edge of the slashing, and were ordered to hold that 
position. This they did during the day, with the aid of 
reinforcements, although the fire of the enemy was very 

372 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Resiment. 

much heavier than their own. The enemy appeared several 
times, as if about to advance, but were checked by the heavy 
and well-directed fire of my men. They seemed to occupy 
a strong line of earthworks, partially masked with bushes, 
and were in strong force in my front. At about 3 p.m., they 
charged partly across the slashing, and for a moment pushed 
back a part of my line about twenty yards, the line on 
their left flank having previously fallen back. They were 
speedily repulsed, however, and retired to their former 
position. At 3.30 p.m. I was ordered to withdraw my 
regiment to the open field near the Darbytown pike, where 
I foriued in line with the other troops of the division. Shortly 
afterward the skirmishers were brought in by the colonel 
commanding, and the troops returned to camp. The com- 
panies composing the skirmish-line were I, C, K, F and part 
of B. They are deserving of high praise for their coolness 
and steadiness, exposed as they were to a musketry fire 
much heavier than their own at short range, together with 
an enfilading artillery fire, and having at times their left 
flank entirely exposed. Although I sent them reinforce- 
ments twice, at no time did they call for them nor intimate 
any doubt of their ability to hold their position. Company 
I bore the brunt of the affair, having been seven hours on 
the line and having sustained one half of the entire loss. 

The following officers and men deserve honorable mention 
for gallant conduct : First Lieutenant John T. Wilson, who 
had command of the skirmish-line, and conducted it with 
great coolness and ability. In this he only maintained the 
character he has displayed during his whole connection with 
the regiment for the last three years ; First Lieutenant F. H. 
Shepard, who was sent with reinforcements to the line in 
the afternoon ; First Sergeant Frank B. DePeyster, Com- 
pany C ; Sergeant John E. Turner, Company I ; Sergeant 
John Ryans, Company K; Corp. John W. Nelson, Company 
C ; Pvt. Edward Parsons, Company C ; Pvt. Nelson H. 
DeLane, Company I. 

Casualties, Darbytown Road, October 13, 1864, in the 
Twenty-fourth. Killed — Corp. Henry Watson, Pvts. Arte- 
mas Adams, Simon Connor, Fred Young, Company I ; Pvt. 
Jos. Gaskin, Company K. 

Wounded — Pvt. Edward Charlton, Company A; Capt. 
Geo. W. Gardner, Pvts. Edward Carthy, John McCarthy. 

Oct. '64. Twenty-fourth Commended. 373 

Company B; Pvts. Victor Easland, John "W. Nelson, Com- 
pany C ; Pvts. Jos. King, S. A. Snow, Timothy Sullivan, Com- 
pany F; Pvt. AVm. Berresford, Company H; Pvts. Curtis 
Dickinson. James H. Jones, Wm. Keene, Geo. N. Maynard, 
Sylvester Stevens, Company I. 

October 6th, General Butler had written to General Grant 
a letter of special significance to the Twenty-fourth Regi- 
ment and its commander. It was couched in the following 
terms: "I would recommend for promotion Colonel X. M. Cur- 
tis, One Hundred and Forty-second New York Volunteers, 
First Brigade, Second Division. Tenth A. C. and Colonel F. 
A. Osborn of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, 
Third Brigade, First Division, Tenth A. C. Both these 
gentlemen are and have been in command of brigades, and 
both distinguished themselves in the movements on the 
enemy's works near Newmarket." To this letter. General 
Grant appended the words, ''Approved and respectfully 
forwarded, U. S. Grant, Lieutenant-General. " In the 
extended congratulatory order of General Butler, dated 
October 11th, he has these words: "Colonel F. A. Osborn, 
Twenty-fourth Massachusetts, for gallant and meritorious 
services through the campaign, has been recommended by 
the commanding General for promotion." 

October 16th, General Alfred H. Terry, commanding the 
Tenth Corps, writing to the Assistant Adjutant-general of 
the Army of the James, says : ' ' The Twenty-fourth Regiment 
Massachusetts Volunteers is a regiment whose history does 
great honor to the state which sent it to the field. 
For discipline and courage it has been equaled by few 
and surpassed by none of the regiments with which I have 
served. It is now very much reduced in numbers, and will 
be still further reduced on the expiration of the term of 
service of the men. I knoAv of no prospect of its receiving 
recruits. It seems to me that it would be a misfortune that 
such a regiment should disappear, for I believe that one 
man placed in it, and imbued with its spirit would be of 

374 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

more value than two men placed in many regiments, even 
among those which are called good. 

"I earnestly desire that an effort should be made to fill 
its ranks, and for that purpose I recommend that Colonel 
F. A. Osborn be detailed to proceed to Massachusetts to 
confer with the local authorities, and take such measures 
to procure men as he may find to be best." This letter 
was endorsed by General Butler in the following words: 
"Approved and respectfully forwarded to the Gorvernor of 
Massachusetts with an expression of an ardent wish that 
the Twenty-fourth might be filled up. Colonel Osborn has 
thirty days' leave for this purpose." 

Accordingly Colonel Osborn obtained his leave of absence 
on the 16th, going to the headquarters of General Butler 
in person, and then not forgetting to press the matter of the 
exchange of Lieutenant-colonel Hooper, still in the hands 
of the enemy. As the Colonel goes away, the command 
devolves on Captain Thomas F. Edmands. The Colonel takes 
his steamer for the North on the 17th, having as a 
fellow passenger Chaplain Trumbull of the Tenth Con- 
necticut, who is on his way to Hartford with the body of the 
late Major H. W. Camp. Exchanging boats at Fortress 
Monroe, passage is taken for Baltimore. Captain George W. 
Gardner of Company B, who had been mustered out on the 
14th, accompanied the Colonel on this homeward trip, 
which terminated on the ]9th, in Boston, where Colonel 
Osborn made an immediate effort to find Governor Andrew, 
but he was absent from the State House. An interview, how- 
ever, with Colonel King of the Governor's staff did not 
give any encouragement as to the possibility of securing 
men for the ranks of the depleted regiment. Leaving the 
Colonel in Boston, we return to his regiment, which was left 
in camp near the scenes of many attempts to force the lines 
of the enemy near the eastern confines of Richmond. 

The later days of October brought with them colder 
weather, and the men were finding the camp provisions 

Oct. 27, '64. Twenty-fourth's Last Advance. 375 

hardly up to the comfort standard. The eternal vigilance 
essential to safety in the presence of an enemy kept the 
remaining members of the regiment busy, for there were 
always fatigue and picket duties to be performed, and the 
less the numbers ready for duty, the more frequent the turn 
of the one who could answer "here." On the 18th of the 
month. General D. B. Birney died in Philadelphia. Only 
a few days before he had been with his corps, but for some 
time he had been in failing health, to whose inroads he had 
been compelled to .yield at last. The fourth son of James 
G. Birney, who had been the long-time standard bearer of 
the Liberty party, he was one of five brothers, all of whom 
had identified themselves with the suppression of the 
Rebellion. Three of these died in the service, a liberal gift 
of the Birney family to the cause which it had so long 
championed. A grandson of James G., and a namesake, also 
died of disease contracted in the service. 

On the 19th, when Colonel Osborn was realizing the com- 
forts of Boston and home, Sheridan and his followers were 
winning the signal victory at Cedar Creek, in the valley. 
The next day salvos of artillery all along the Union lines 
from right to left told the enemy what the boys in blue 
thought of the Shenandoah incident. There was still one 
more raid to be made by the Union right on the Confederate 
left. It was late in October. Again to cover a move on the 
South Side railroad, orders were given to get busy on the 
right, for it was not desirable that the enemy should have a 
chance to rush to the help of those hard pressed at the rail- 
road. It was the 27th of October, when at daylight there 
was a movement from the works toward the Darbytown 
and Newmarket roads, with every appearance of purpose 
to assault them without any real intention of doing so. 
General Weitzel, still further to the right, in command of 
the Eighteenth Corps, was ordered to attempt to turn the 
rebel left. General Longstreet, in command of the left, 
had his affairs so well in hand that the efforts of Weitzel 

376 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

met with disaster, and his troops were compelled to with- 
draw "wet, muddy and completely discomfited, not reaching 
a place of safety till the following morning. Once more, 
on the 29th, the division was ordered out to capture certain 
picket-works on Johnson's plantation, whence Kautz was 
driven on the 7th. Accomplishing what was undertaken, the 
men returned and. for many members of the Third Brigade, 
active campaigning was ended. The terms of service of the 
original three years men who had not re-enlisted were 
expiring and they were soon to go home. On the return 
from the last reconnoissance, the Twenty-fourth went into 
camp in the vicinity of Four Mile Church, in the rear of 
the Union works, and here remained through the remainder 
of October, all of November, and to the 18th of December. 
Only the regular round of camp and garrison life was had. 
and the rest that came to the boys, not a few of them 
thought well-earned. A glance at the monthly report for 
the month of October gives a melancholy view of the numeri- 
cal condition of a regiment that had had so many men upon 
its rolls, but now was scarcely more than the skeleton of its 
former self. 

On the 31st of October, Captain Thomas F. Edmands, 
commanding the regiment, reported 8 commissioned officers 
present for duty, and 254 enlisted men. There were seven 
officers absent sick and "on leave," and 150 men were 
reported absent for similar reasons, while 30 were prisoners 
of war. Company B, the largest, had 46 men ready for 
duty, and E, the smallest, had 18. During the month, 102 
had been discharged by" reason of expiration of service, and 
the coming of recruits was very slow indeed; for the entire 
month only one man was reported. During November, the 
course of depletion continued, there being only three 
recruits, but 52 were mustered out through expiration of 
service, and enough others for sundry causes to bring the 
aggregate to 76, leaving less than 200 enlisted men for duty. 
The regiment was commanded by Albert Ordway, who had 

Nov. '64. Bermuda Front. 377 

been promoted Major. Xew commissions had been issued, so 
that the aggregate of officers was 17, but only a few of the 
originals remained. Lieutenant-colonel Hooper was still a 
prisoner of war, thus leaving only Major Ordway and 
Captain Edmands. the lonely survivors of that splendid 
array that left Boston in '61. Lieutenant Jas. M. Barnard, 
declining a captaincy, had been mustered out October 31st; 
Surgeon Samuel A. Green had followed November 3d, and 
the 11th of the month saw the end of the regimental life of 
Colonel Osborn. Adjutant Thomas M. Sweet, Lieutenant 
Parmenas E. Wheeler and John T. Wilson. Colonel Osborn 
did not return to the regiment after his departure in 
October. His own diary for November 14th has only the 
brief sentence: "Was mustered out of service by authority 
of General Butler, who was in New York." He had served 
several months beyond the time for which he was com- 
missioned ; the tedium of winter quarters had no charm for 
him; the call of home and family and provision for the 
future grew louder every day, so the Twenty-fourth, in 
service, saw him no more. Long acquaintance and common 
dangers had engendered mutual regard and respect. He 
had proved a brave and safe leader, his men the most reli- 
able followers. 


A very good illustration of the value of trained troops is 
recalled in the fact that, in the week of Thanksgiving, what 
there was left of the Twenty-fourth was ordered out, in 
light marching order, to proceed across the James, down to 
Bermuda Front, to retake a certain line of works which 
had been lost through the failures of a green regiment. To 
these experienced campaigners it seemed little more than a 
pleasure stroll, though at nightfall they missed sadly the 
comforts of tents and blankets. On their way to their desti- 
nation thev met a Committee of Congress, evidently study- 

378 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Reigiment. 

ing the situation. To the minds of the prankish soldiers, 
the highly colored visages of these statesmen were sugges- 
tive of extra high living, and the queries that were pro- 
pounded to the distinguished gentlemen as to how their 
noses assumed their rubicund condition were provocative of 
more mirth among the quizzers than with the quizzed. On 
reaching the end of the trip, little difficulty was experienced 
in securing what they went for. but their astonishment was 
equaled only by that of the rebels, who also had performed a 
night feat and in the morning were found continuing the 
very line held by the Twenty-fourth, only facing in the 
opposite direction. By mutual consent, the relations through 
the day were amicable, and at night the enemy quietly with- 
drew. Remaining here till after Thanksgiving, the wagons 
had just brought up their baggage, when they were ordered 
back to their former camp, where they proceeded to make 
themselves as comfortable as industry and the situation 
would admit. For all the time intervening between then 
and now. veterans have lamented the pains they took to 
carry bricks from the underpinning of a barn on Spring 
Hill to work them into chimneys for the log huts in which 
they expected to spend the winter. As it generally hap- 
pened, however, they had hardly more than finished their 
tasks when the command to repair to Bermuda Hundred 
drove them out from all their labors, and they had the 
mortification of seeing their choice habitations given up to 
some colored troops. 

Their fourth Thanksgiving, somewhat delayed on account 
of the special duty at Bermuda Front, was observed on 
their getting back, with divers reflections on what the 
friends at home were thinking of their absent sons and 
brothers. December witnessed many changes in the personnel 
of the regiment. Four men had died, three of them from 
wounds; one man had been discharged to accept a commis- 
sion in another organization, and 67 men had been mustered 
out at the expiration of their term of service, the conditions 

Dec. '64. Bermuda Front. 379 

of their enlistment in 1862 * being that their terms ended 
three years from the date of the muster-in of the organiza- 
tion, which took place December 4, '61. It began to look 
as though the Twenty-fourth could not survive much more 
depletion, since only 231 men were left ready for duty. 
The arrival of seven recruits was small compensation for 
so many departures. The leave-taking of the veterans, whose 
battles were over, was not formal. It was simply a case of 
folding their blankets and taking themselves hence, making 
their way home by the quickest route possible, content in 
most cases to let others fight the remaining battles, though 
some of them did again essay the army role. The companies 
were so small that in no instance do the December rolls 
indicate the existence of a second lieutenant, and of the 
captains, only Thomas F. Edmands was a commissioned 
officer at the start. Lieutenant B. F. Stoddard was adjutant 
and James Thompson quartermaster, though he was absent 
on detached service. Dr. Edward R. Wheeler, who had 
been mustered in December 2d, was the Surgeon, to remain 
in that capacity to the end. Still, the regimental form was 
maintained, since men on detached service, prisoners in the 
hands of the enemy and sick in hospital or at home, brought 
the aggregate membership up to 450 officers and men. 

*This privilege was based on the following telegraphic correspondence 
between Boston and Washington : 

Boston, July 21, 1862. 
To Hon. E. M. Stanton, Sec. War, Washington. 

Please authorize me to declare that all who enlist in old regiments will 
be mustered out with the regiments. This will help induce men prefer- 
ring old corps, and this is what generals urge constantly. 

John A. Andrew. 

Washington, July 21st, 4.15 p.m. 
Governor Andrew, Boston. 

You are authorized to say that new recruits for old regiments will 
be mustered out with the regiment. 

Edwin M. Stanton, Sec. War. 

Under date June 13, 1864, it was decided by the War Department that 
men recruited under the foregoing order, between July 21, '62, and De- 
cember 31, '62, should be mustered out with their regiments. 

380 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

Other matters were ending also. The brigade in whose 
grand record the Twenty-fourth had borne so prominent a 
part was to be broken up, and on the first of November, its 
last commander. Colonel Harris M. Plaisted, issued the fol- 
lowing order on the eve of his departure, with his regiment, 
for their homes in Maine. Those who had not re-enlisted 
were the ones to follow the Colonel on the triumphal trip 
homeward. Every one had won the right to his discharge 
through long and arduous service, and the men of the 
Twenty-fourth most heartily wished the ''boys" from the 
Pine Tree State a "God-speed." The Avords of the Colonel's 
General Order No. 30 were long cherished by those who 
heard them and the printed form is yet in the possession of 
many a survivor of the old Third Brigade : 

The Colonel commanding cannot take leave of his command, 
even temporarily, without giving expression of his respect 
and admiration for the brave men whom it has been his good 
fortune to command. While life shall last he will remember 
with pride and extreme satisfaction the brave deeds and 
heroic conduct of the men of the Third Brigade. The Army 
of the United States cannot boast of your superiors, and in 
his humble opinion, you stand unrivaled by any troops who 
have fought in the Army of the James. Your names and 
fame are familiar as household words in the camps of this 
army corps and among your fellow citizens at home. Your 
iron will and firmness have won for yourselves the proud 
title of "The Ironclads." 

Since this campaign commenced you have participated in 
more than twenty actions, besides skirmishes almost with- 
out number. You have never failed to accomplish what was 
set down for you to do, and your conduct has always called 
forth the praises of your commanding oificers. It has 
never occasioned them a single regret. That cow- 
ardly cry, "We are flanked!" has never been heard in your 
ranks. When other troops have given way on your right or 
your left, you have shown to the enemy that you had no 
flanks and no rear — that the Third Brigade was all front, 
and that, too, of steel. How well that front has been main- 
tained in this campaign, the long list of your casualties — 
1,385 out of 2,693 — sadly but gloriously attests. 

Dec. '64. Col. Plaisted's Farewell. 381 

Fellow-soldiers, of voiir history it may indeed be said, 
"The past at least is secure." You have won a noble dis- 
tinction in a noble army, fighting for a noble cause. That 
your future will be equally successful and brilliant, your 
conduct in the ])ast leaves no room for doubt. Your brave 
deeds will be remembered in your country's history and be 
the proud of your descendants. 

In conclusion, the Colonel commanding desires to repeat, 
for your encouragement, the language of Washington to his 
brave troops, who had won for us the cause we are now 
contending to maintain. "Let me remind you," said he, 
"you, the private soldiers of the dignified part you have 
performed in this great struggle. For happy — thrice 
happy — will he be accounted hereafter who has contributed, 
though in the least degree, to the establishment of this 
gigantic republic on the broad basis of human freedom and 
empire." Immortal honors will belong to you as saviors 
of the republic, no less than to our fathers as founders 
of it. 

The regiments so closely connected during the campaign 
of the Battle Summer had considerable work before them 
ere they took their leave of SiVmy life. The One Hundredth 
New York, the only organization in the brigade not from 
New England, made its winter quarters a little to the right 
of where the rebels were repulsed on the 7th of October. 
After the departure of Colonel Plaisted, on the trip home 
with the men to be mustered out, Colonel G. F. B. Dandy of 
the One Hundredth New York, as ranking Colonel, com- 
manded the brigade till Colonel Plaisted 's return. After 
the resignation of the Maine Colonel, Dandy resumed com- 
mand. March 27, '65, the brigade having been transferred to 
the Twenty-fourth Corps, the One Hundredth moved to the 
left, took part in the capture of Petersburg, including the 
assault on Fort Gregg, where it lost heavily, and helped 
press the enemy up to the final day at Appomattox. Later 
it was ordered to Richmond, near which it was encamped 
till AugUvSt 28, 1865, when it was mustered out of the service. 
From the days of '63, before Charleston, it had been 
associated with the Twenty-fourth, and its record in the 

382 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

strife was such as to bring it into the ranks of the 300 
fighting regiments exploited by Wm. F. Fox. While the 
Empire State men and those from Massachusetts may not 
have been so intimate as were the latter with their Con- 
necticut comrades, nevertheless, the most cordial relations 
existed, and this item from the regimental history by Major 
George H. Stowits deserves a place here. It was on the 
27th of October, in one of those expeditions of discovery to 
which the Tenth Corps had grown accustomed. Stowits, 
then a lieutenant, had been ordered to advance his skir- 
mish-line. The officer started to obey, though, knowing the 
impossibility of the feat, he had said to the orderly, who 
brought the order, "Bring up a stretcher, for I shall be 
either killed or wounded, since that line can't be moved." 
He had not gone far, moving in an irregular line on 
account of the rebel sharpshooters, when he was shot as 
he had predicted. He says, "A daring soldier of the 
Twenty-fourth Massachusetts ventured to bring me off the 
field under a heavy fire from the enemy's sharpshooters." 
It is a pity that the name of the hero is not known for 
insertion in this recital. The history of the One Hundredth 
New York told by Major Stowits and published in 1870 
has long been out of print. 

The men from Maine, being a sort of second growth 
Massachusetts sons, were favorites of their Bay State 
brothers, and were men always to be depended upon. 
Though the regiment had memories of Morris Island, they 
were of a period after the leaving of the Twenty-fourth. 
Not till the organizing at Gloucester Point, in May, '64, did 
the two regiments become acquainted. Chaplain Trumbull 
of the brigade there formed said: "The Twenty-fourth 
Massachusetts and the Tenth Connecticut had been friends 
in all their campaigning. The One Hundredth New York 
had been brigaded with both in South Carolina. The 
Eleventh Maine, although more recently with them, soon 
became a general favorite." The historian of the Eleventh 

Dec. '64. Eleventh Maine. 383 

says this of the Twenty-fourth : ' ' The Twenty-fourth Massa- 
chusetts we soon learned to respect as a brave, reliable and 
effective regiment, ' ' a sentiment which the men from the Bay 
State fully reciprocated. When the spring campaign 
opened, the Eleventh marched over to the scenes in the 
immediate front of Petersburg, and was among the fore- 
most in all that was doing in the final rout. Her one-armed 
Colonel, Jonathan A. Hill, was a conspicuous figure as he 
led his veterans and in every place the regiment gave an 
excellent account of itself. After Appomattox, in whose 
glories the regiment shared, it came back to Richmond and 
for many weeks camped in the vicinity of the famous city, 
finding plenty to do in the way of detached service, in the 
department of the Provost !^Iarshal, as city police, etc. 
The "boys" saw Sherman's men and the Sixth Corps march 
through the rebel capital on their way towards "Washing- 
ton, and, on the whole, had a good time, with enough to eat 
and duties light. November 24th, '65, the regiment left 
Richmond for Fredericksburg, with which as a centre over 
the area of seven counties these Maine men served as con- 
servators of public peace, a duty that was well performed. 
In January, '66, came orders to proceed to City Point to 
be mustered out, which was accomplished February 2d, 
the men taking a steamer immediately for New York. 
Thence came the homeward journey and the final pay in 
Augusta, February 10th, thus exceeding, by a few days, the 
service of the Twenty-fourth. While the number of killed 
in battle or mortally wounded did not warrant placing the 
Eleventh in Fox's list of 300 "fighting" regiments, there 
could be no question as to its fighting qualities. 

The friendship of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts for 
the members of the Tenth Connecticut has been a theme for 
regimental reunions for more than forty years. Said a 
veteran captain of the Tenth Connecticut as late as the 
anniversary of Newbern, 1906, "We were together from the 
very start and the history of one is practically that of the 

384 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

other." With such a community of interests there is no 
wonder that the Massachusetts men love to hear good things 
told of their follow soldiers from the- "Land of Steady 
Habits." Could they have had their say, there had been 
no separation until the very end. The Tenth spent the 
winter in comfortable quarters north of the James, joined 
in the move, March 27th, to the works in front of Petersburg, 
earned yet brighter laurels in the assault on Fort Gregg, 
participated in the pursuit of Lee and his retreating army, 
and rejoiced with the other thousands at the scene of April 
9th, when the Rebellion ended. The regiment reached Rich- 
mond soon after the surrender. In Croffut's and Morris' 
History of Connecticut in the War of the Rebellion, one may 
read: "When the Tenth returned to Richmond after the 
capture of Lee's army, the regiment encamped in a beauti- 
ful grove on the plantation of Dr. Powell, on the Brooktown 
pike, two miles from the city." Here the Tenth remained 
till late in the summer, when it was mustered out and 
proceeded northward. August 25th is the date of its sever- 
ance of national ties and in due time it reached Hartford, 
there to receive a merited ovation. First and last it had 
included in its membership 2,124 men, losing in its term of 
service enough to receive a place among the immortal "300," 
an honor that no one acquainted with the regiment envies 
for a moment. 


December 18th came the order for our regiment to move 
over to Bermuda Hundred, and to begin a round of guard 
duty that ended there only with the occupation of Richmond 
by the Union troops in the following April. Their quarters, 
near the landing, were home-made, i. e., they were shanties 
whose material was bought or stolen from the post sutler, 
the sutler of the Twenty-fourth having given up his position 
and retired. Few survivors would care to tell just what 
proportion of their material they paid for. There were 

Dec. 18, 'G4. 

Bermuda Hundred. 


piles of lumber, and there were active young soldiers in 
need of shelter and somehow the two came together with 
resulting habitations, in which the remainder of the winter 
was spent. The sutler complained to Major Ordway, but 
the latter, though sympathizing with the man, said he could 
not punish on general information. "Show me the guilty 
parties and I'll see to it that they are properly dealt with." 
The result was that no punishments were inflicted. In this 

Sergt. Batterman. Capt. Edmantls. J. W. Arms. 
T. F. Carney (H). Capt. Foster. Lieut. North. Capt. White. 


new scene of labor, the regiment was alone. Just why it 
was selected may never be known. 

The duties were not arduous, consisting in standing guard 
at headquarters, maintaining discipline at the bull pen, the 
uneuphonious name of the place in which recruits were 
confined before going to their regiments, and in seeing that 
the military stores were not carried away bodily. One man 
writing home said, "The boys say they would rather be 
at the front than doing this provost duty. We have to 
receive the substitutes, recruits, convalescents and bounty- 

386 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

jumpers and duly forward them. Then, too, we take in the 
prisoners of w^ar and the rebel deserters and send them 
north; also we have to look out for men trying to get north 
to re-enlist and go get another bounty." 

January 15, '65, Major Ordway became Provost Marshal, 
Army of the James, retaining the position till April 6th, and 
leaving his command to Captain Edmands. Among the 
duties at this post was the guarding of recruits to the regi- 
ments to which they had been assigned. Also, when the lines 
in front of Petersburg were broken and prisoners by the 
thousand came pouring in, they fell to the lot of the 
Twenty-fourth Massachusetts to be cared for, and escorted 
down the river to the next stopping place. The quantity 
of arms thus accumulated was great and a stack of discarded 
muskets grew till it was higher than the quarters of Major 
Ordway. When the rebels made their assault on Fort 
Stedman, the last of March, and the heavens reflected the 
flash and sound of arms, some of the veterans through force 
of habit began to fold their blankets and to pack up, think- 
ing it possible that they would be ordered out, acts that 
alarmed not a little some of the new recruits, to whom the 
scene was especially terrifying, and their roguish comrades 
were not averse to scaring them as much as possible, 
delighted in the expressions of terror that their words 

Toward the end of March, certain men employed on a 
mail steamer were arrested for selling liquor to soldiers. 
Captain Davis Foster, Company D and Assistant Provost 
Marshal, determined to make their punishment effectual, 
had the head of each culprit shaved half over and then 
every man was made to stand upon a barrel, having on his 
breast a placard bearing the legend, "See how my hair has 
come off through selling whiskey." Another inscription read, 
"Do not sell whiskey to soldiers, it is bad for the hair." 
It was expected that the punishment would break up the 
practice of bringing liquor from Baltimore to be sold to 
the soldiers. A hard thing to do, however. 

Spring, '65. 

Bermuda Hundred. 


Caring for prisoners here revealed one of the interesting 
conditions existing in the great strife so provocative of 
situations never heard of before. Sam Reed of Company 
I, mentioned before in these pages, was guarding a party 
of newly arrived Johnnies and, attracted by the looks of 
one of them, he asked the rebel what his name was. Learn- 
ing that it was Reed also, further inquiries revealed the 
singular fact that they were first cousins, whereupon the 

Albert Wood. Alfred O. Cobb. Sergt. Wni. Keating. Sergt. A. A. Nightingale. 

John McLane. 

Confederate impulsively reached out his hand for a friendly 
shake, but the Union man was not of the forgiving kind, 
forgetting that other environment might have made a 
rebel of him as well, and emphatically declined any assump- 
tion of cousinly relation with his southern kinsman. When 
he related his story in camp, his comrades rallied him on 
his conduct and told him he ought to meet the reb at 
least half way, but Read had no use for a Johnny, rela- 
tive or not. In the hereafter, into which both have been 
ushered, it is to be hoped that all lines of demarcation, 
whether Blue or Gray, have been effaced. 

388 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


Lee had not surrendered when the Twenty-fourth was 
ordered to Richmond to have a part in preserving order 
in the late rebel capital. On April 8th came the command 
transferring the regiment to its new scene of service. Of 
the trip itself, one of the regiment wrote: "We had a pleas- 
ant ride up the river, taking note of the rebel works on both 
sides : the much-talked-of and useless Dutch Gap Canal, 
Butler's failure, and the rebel rams, blown up, their old 
hulks looking as though they had seen better days. All 
nature was taking on a robe of beautiful green, and we 
could see plainly what, in the '64 campaign, we had tried 
so hard to possess. We landed at Rockets, near which the 
troops were having a review in light marching order, so 
we just filed by in heavy marching order and, as usual, 
we made the best appearance." The embers of the con- 
flagration started by the departing rebels were scarcely 
cooled when the Massachusetts men came in, and, from their 
first camp, near the former headquarters of the Confederate 
War Department, essayed the part of peace preservers in 
Richmond, a duty to be performed through many a month 
of the immediate future. A permanent stopping-place was 
soon found on the corner of Franklin and Nineteenth 
Streets, in Wright 's Tobacco Factory, where . is now 
manufactured "The Pride of Virginia," a favorite among 
users of the weed. After two months tarrying here, a move 
was made to Howard Grove Hospital, where in w^hat had 
been rebel soldiers' barracks, the remainder of the Rich- 
mond stay was spent. 

Among the duties of this Richmond tour was the looking 
after Libby Prison and Castle Thunder, both of them 
filled with ex-rebels detained for a variety of reasons, and 
the city jail with its complement of malefactors of all colors 
and creeds. Its situation was just back of what had been 
the residence of Jefferson Davis, in other words, the White 
House of the Confederacy, in later years a museum of 

Spring '65. Richmond. 389 

Rebellion relics. In the jail-yard was the old whipping-post, 
a reminder of other times and other rule, now a curiosity for 
the northern soldier. The destitution of the people was a 
source of wonder and regret to the tender-hearted Federal, 
and, as far as he could, he was more than ready to relieve it. 
Aside from dividing rations, however, he was powerless, but 
it would not have been in accordance with nature if he had 
not done some piloting of the suffering citizens to Uncle 
Sam's commissary stores. The situation is most happily 
set forth in the words of one to the manor born, who was 
there when the distress was on : 

In all this time of horror I don't think anything was much 
harder than making up our minds to draw rations from the 
Yankees. We said we would not do it — we could not do it ! 
But as hunger gained upon us and starvation stared us in 
the face, Mrs. Sampson rose up in her might: "I'll take 
anything I can get out of the Yankees!" she exclaimed. 
"They haven't had any delicacy of feeling in taking every- 
thing we've got. I'm going for rations." 

And go they did, though the results were not quite so 
appetizing as they had expected, since the piece de resistance 
in each case was likely to be a dried codfish, which, how- 
ever orthodox to the New Englander, was not much of a 
luxury to one of the Old Dominion, but with the accompany- 
ing bit of bacon and some potatoes, life was maintained 
after a fashion, though it is related that the ancient and 
fish-like smell that accompanied the "ration" compelled the 
recipients, in most cases, to hang the food outside the win- 
dow. Perhaps the coffee thus obtained was most appre- 
ciated. It was no infrequent sight, that of well-dressed 
women, evidently of the best families of the city, applying 
for aid. At one time, the soldier inquired of replied that he 
did not know in what way he could be of service, impressed 
by the evident gentility of the woman. When he mentioned 
work, with his northern sentiments on that subject, he was 
told that she knew verv little about work, and that her ser- 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

vants had all been scattered by the war. "Do you know 
who that lady is?" asked a citizen of the guard. "No, I 
do not, but she is a lady, whoever she may be," was the 
reply. "Well, she represents one of the oldest and most 
wealthy families in Virginia. Her father once possessed 
hundreds of slaves, but the folks are in terrible straits now." 
However, native intelligence and energy soon began to 
tell and it was not long before order was evolved from all 


of war's carnage and confusion. The rebels, or those lately 
in rebellion, began to discover that the Yankees were not so 
bad as they had been painted ; some of the gentler sex even 
gave their hearts into the keeping of soldiers from the 
North, and some of the latter made Richmond or other south- 
ern cities places of permanent abode. Long years after it 
was all over, a southern writer says this of those troublous 
days: "Our grandchildren can't understand how such nice 
people as the Yankees and ourselves ever could have 
fought each other. 'It doesn't seem reasonable,' says 
Nellie the third, who is engaged to a gentleman from Boston, 

Spring '65. Richmond. 391 

where we sent her to cultivate her musical talents, but 
where she applied herself to other matters. 'It doesn't 
seem reasonable, grandmamma, when you could just as 
easily have settled it all comfortably without any fighting. 
How glad I am I wasn't living then! How thankful I am 
that Old Glory floats alike over North and South now.' 
'And so am T, my darling, so am I.' " 

Across the river from Bermuda Hundred resided a family 
of the Carters, for generations one of the proudest and best 
in the South. This particular branch had remained faith- 
ful to the Union, though the most of the name had affiliated 
with the Rebellion; indeed the wife of Robert E. Lee was a 
relative, and to her a message had been intrusted with Major 
Ordway, with the understanding that he should deliver it 
in person. This in due time he undertook to do, but he 
found the entrance to the presence of the chieftain's com- 
panion, a great granddaughter of Washington's wife, was 
not so easily effected. To enter the vestibule and to be met 
by a colored servitor who inquired his business, was one 
thing, but to meet Mrs. Lee was quite another. Notwith- 
standing his repeated statement that he was to deliver his 
message personally, he received only the same reply, 
"Tell the gentleman that Mrs. Lee is not at home," and the 
valiant and fastidious ]\Iajor was obliged to retire discom- 
fited, his message unimparted, at least not in person, and his 
failure was a source of some merriment to his brother 
officers. Later when he had led to the altar a daughter of 
Richmond, and became a resident of that noted city, it is 
probable that his entrance into the 61ite of the capital's 
society was more easily effected. 

Among all the prisoners committed to the care of the 
Union soldiers in Richmond, the most famous was Dick 
Turner, the man who had made himself so hateful to the 
unfortunate northern men confined in Libby Prison. That 
he was a twant every one agreed, and he was given a taste 
of his own provisions, in that he was at first incarcerated in 


one of the dungeons beneath the very structure over which 
he had formerly held so hard and high a hand. When the 
troops from the armies further south began to pour through 
the capital, there were many men appearing whom he had 
tyrannized over, in some cases had maltreated. All wanted 
to see him; some were civil and courteous to him, others 
were quite the reverse. One especially, an officer who had 
suffered terribly at the hands of the former keeper, was 
determined to shoot him. It required a deal of effort and 
wisdom to prevent the death of the rebel by his half-crazed 
foe, on account of his deeds in other days. But prudence 
and the protection accorded prisoners among civilized peo- 
ple prevailed and Turner's life was spared. Not so very long 
after the guarding of the ex-keeper became a part of the 
regiment's duties, a Union officer called at the prison and 
on learning where the Confederate was confined remarked, 
"I wonder that he doesn't find out that one of the bars at 
his window is of wood." It appears that the officer him- 
self had once been imprisoned in that very place, and that 
in his plans for escape had substituted wood for iron in 
the bars at the window, but departing in another manner, 
before he had used this avenue of escape, the false bar had 
remained. Acting on knowledge thus imparted, the cell of 
Turner was visited at once, but too late, for the prisoner had 
learned of the deception, taken advantage of it and had 
departed. However, his liberty was of short duration, since 
he was speedily retaken and this time was placed in Castle 
Thunder, where, for the sake of surety, he was heavily ironed. 
Strong chains connected his wrists, and his feet were united 
in a similar manner, while an iron rod reached from his feet 
to his hands, and to make his escape still more improbable, 
the entire assemblage of links, rods and gyves was securely 
chained to the ceiling, his manacles reminding one of those 
wuth which Pizarro bound the Inca of Peru. The Government, 
evidently intent on leaving the least number of scars possible, 
did not punish Davis and, as for the keepers of southern pris- 
ons, the hanging of Wirtz apparently sufficed, and Turner 

Spring '65. Richmond. 393 

eventually went forth unscathed. ' ' He was not a particularly 
bad fello-\v as far as looks, language and manners were 
concerned," was the general comment of the men w^ho saw 
him frequently. His rations when thus kept in the very 
building over which he had lorded so long were simply 
hard tack and water, a not over-appetizing layout, but one 
that gave his former captives, now his visitors, a great 
deal of pleasure as they asked him how he liked it himself. 

The marching through Richmond of Sherman's army and 
that of the Potomac was a source of much pleasure to all 
beholders, and possibly there was some pride mingled with 
the sight as the men of the trip from Atlanta to the Sea 
strode through the Confederate capital, in sight of the 
edifice in which had been evolved the plans and plots which 
kept up the strife during four long years. 

One W'ho was there thus describes the passage of the 
Second and Fifth Army Corps : 

Yesterday (May 6th) Richmond saw what she never saw 
before, viz. : the passage of about 40,000 troops of the Union 
Army on their way to Washington. They commenced to 
come over from IManchester on the pontoon bridge, about 
6 a.m., and were till 4.30 crossing. On their march they 
passed by Libby Prison and Castle Thunder, on which we 
had placed large signs so that the soldiers might know what 
they w^ere passing. Their remarks as they passed and gazed 
Avere more forcible than polite. Thence they passed onto 
Main Street, where the Third Division of the Twenty-fourth 
Corps w^as formed in line to receive them. They thus 
stretched along two miles or more. Some of the reviewing 
soldiers recognized old friends in the Massachusetts regi- 
ments as they swung along the route. By this time, the 
Tw^enty-fourth had resumed some of its Readville dignity 
and style and was wearing dress coats with scales on the 
shoulders, appearing very little like the men of Drewry's 
Bluff and the Petersburg trenches. Some of the men on 
guard w'ere in full regalia and even w^ore white gloves, an 
amount of ''put-on" quite too much for the rough-and- 
ready fellows just in from the field, and they, thinking the 
starched soldiers were regulars, stigmatized them as ''band- 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

box" regiments and slurred them to their hearts' content, 
little realizing that in the preceding season they were all 
alike. The passage of the wagon train was even more inter- 
esting than that of the army. If northern people all turn 
out to see a circus, I don't know what they would do for 

Then, too, w^hen later in the month of May, the Sixth 
Corps came along from its tour of guard-duty in southern 


Virginia, there was another chance to compare notes with 
soldiers who had warred with the Army of the Potomac, 
in the Shenandoah Valley, and, in the battle of Sailors' 
Creek, had won the last great victory against the Confeder- 
acy. Those were pleasant days for the Twenty-fourth, and to 
the younger members of the- regiment they were almost 
delightful. Says one of the survivors : ' ' One of the proudest 
moments of my life was when, as Corporal, I was in charge of 
a squad of colored soldiers, going with them across the pon- 

Summer '64. Richmond. 395 

toon bridge over to Manchester. I had noticed that, with 
their old-time subserviency, they were giving way to every 
ex-reb they met, so I just told them not to give a single inch 
when they met any more of the secesh. This was what they 
had been anxious to hear, and the way they stood up and the 
way they walked through the next party of their old enemies 
was a sight to see. I felt as if I had accomplished something 
in teaching these men that they had rights, and that the 
uniform they had on was entitled to respect no matter who 
wore it." 

It would be idle to assert that all the men enjoyed the sans- 
souci life in Richmond. "While it was pleasant for some of 
the officers and for many of the younger membere. to the man 
who had enlisted for putting down the Rebellion and whose 
family and business required him at home, the stay was irk- 
some in the extreme. It was during these days that many men, 
as will be seen by reference to the Roster, took French leave. 
They had in many cases been admirable soldiers, some of them 
even were reenlisted veterans, but the call of home was too 
strong and they heeded the prompting. Government recog- 
nized the provocation, and some years later ordered that all 
men thus taking leave of the service, after the surrender, and 
on making due application, should have their names removed 
from the list of deserters and should be entitled to all the 
privileges of those who stayed through. Very many, how- 
ever, paid the debt to nature due before this ruling was had, 
and some excellent names still rest under a shadow. Nor did 
the days pass by without some remonstrance from the sober- 
minded men who were doing duty for fifty cents a day, and 
who were worth dollars at any one of a score of employments 
in the North. In July a petition was carried in to headquar- 
ters representing that the men were tired of soldiering and 
desired to have measures taken to secure the muster-out of the 
regiment. The signers went up in a body and the hospital 
steward carried in the paper. No satisfaction coming from 
this action, the men next tried General A. H. Terry, who, 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

they Avere told, had the naming of regiments to be discharged. 
All that came of this last move was the remanding of the 
messenger to his companj^, though he had been an orderly at 
regimental headquarters for four years. The prospect of 
having to serve out the eighteen months of their enlistments 
was not altogether pleasant to the men, especially when the 
conditions of their muster-in included the words, "Three 


years or the close of the war." That the war was over, all 
acknowledged and the literalist could not see why his military 
obligations were not ended also. 

Patriotic northern boys oould not permit the 4th of July 
to pass without some recognition of its significance, particu- 
larly in this city that had tried its best to get out of the 
Union. If mere noise were anj^ criterion for judgment, 
then was the day memorable, but with so much explosion of 
gunpowder, there were as usual several accidents, and one 
man had his left thumb and a part of the hand carried off 
by the explosion of his musket, while another sent a pistol 
ball through his fingers. 'Twas ever thus. 

Jan. '66. Homeward Bound. 397 

For the gi*eater part of the time, in their guard duty, the 
men of the Twenty-fourth were associated with their old 
friends of the Tenth Connecticut and the Eleventh Maine, 
but as the latter were either sent home or detached for duty 
in Fredericksburg, the Twenty-fourth had the work largely 
to itself. To add to its numbers and to render the positions 
of its officers more certain, and, at the same time, to retain 
the services of a large number of reenlisted men, those of 
the Thirty-fourth, some 157 in number, and 12 from the 
Fortieth similarly circumstanced, were transferred to the 
regiment, constituting Companies A and G, the former men 
of said companies being sent into K and D respectively. 
As the time of the volunteer regiments grew nearer an end, 
soldiers of the regulars were drawn upon and they eventually 
took on all the Provost duty. 


To very few regiments in the volunteer service was it giv- 
en to date letters in the fifth year from enlistment. Only 
one other from the Bay State, the Thirtieth, had such neces- 
sity, but the record for the Twenty-fourth in the new year 
was very brief. The rumors of preceding weeks as to a 
discharge of the men (Culminated in verity soon after the 
middle of January, and on the 20th, Saturday afternoon, in 
heavy marching order, the route was taken down Seventeenth 
Street, the band playing so blithely, "The Girl I left Behind 
Me," proceeding through the familiar ways to Rockets, where 
a steamer was boarded for home. Down the James the men 
had a chance to see their battle-grounds of 1864, and to 
moralize on the sad fate of comrades whose bodies were yet 
lying near where they fell in the fierce strife; dowTi to the 
union of the waters of the James with those of the Chesapeake 
and then up the historic bay to Baltimore. Thence they 
went by rail through Philadelphia to New York, many a lad 
thinking, if he did not sing, as the train sped along: 

398 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

"Rolling home, rolling home, rolling home, 
Rolling home, rolling home, rolling home: 
Oh, happy is the girl that will greet me, 
As I go rolling, rolling home." 

The return of the regiment, as set forth in the Boston 
Journal of Wednesday evening, Jan. 24, 1866, was as follows : 
"The Twenty-fourth Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers, 
arrived at the Fall River and Newport depot about 8.30 o'clock 
on Wednesday morning in an extra train from Newport. 
(The extended Journal account of the life of the organiza- 
tion afield is omitted. ) The regiment numbers about 425 men, 
all in good health, having left Richmond, Va., where they 
have been stationed since its capture, last Saturday afternoon, 
en route for home. About two hundred of the returned 
soldiers are veterans and went out with the regiment. 

"Immediately on leaving the cars at the depot this morn- 
ing, the regiment M'^as formed in line by Colonel Edmands, 
and to the excellent music of their own band, and accompanied 
by many companions in arms, the men marched to Boylston 
Hall, where they partook of a substantial breakfast, and 
passed a couple of hours in exchanging congratulations with 
friends and relatives. While in the hall, the band, numbering 
some twenty pieces, under the leadership of John W. Lincoln, 
performed several pieces of music in an excellent manner, and 
much to the gratification of all present. In this connection 
it may be stated that it is the intention of the band to give a 
grand concert in Music Hall,* before finally separating for 

*The concert was given Feb. 2d in Music Hall, the band having the 
assistance of the Stevenson Glee Club, that chorus of voices that had 
sung Union songs in rebellious states for two years and more. Of the 
concert itself, the Transcript of Feb. 3d commented in a brief article: 
"The concert of the Twenty-fourth Regiment in Music Hall, last night, 
was one of the most admirable musical entertainments given by a full 
band which has been heard in Boston for several years. The programme 
was judiciously selected and the different pieces so faultlessly performed 
that the music throughout was of the most enlivening character. The 
singing of the Glee Club belonging to the band was of a superior char- 
acter. The only regret possible is over the smallness of the attendance. ' ' 

Jan. '66. Boston. 399 

their respective homes. ' ' A roster of the officers follows, and 
the statement that the regiment proceeded to Gallup 's Island 
in the afternoon. 

On the 27th of the same month, the regiment came up 
from the Island for the final scene in its four years' drama. 
Old friends were ready to give the veterans a fitting reception. 
Their former Colonel, now General F. A. Osborn, was Chief 
^Marshal, and with him was an efficient staff of aides. The 
escort comprised Company F, Second Regiment, M. V. M. ; 
past officers and men of the Forty-fourth Regiment ; past offi- 
cers and men of other IMassachusetts regiments; past officers 
and men of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment; last- 
ly came the veterans themselves under the command of Lieut. - 
colonel Edmands. The route was through Washington, 
Boylston, Arlington and Beacon Streets to the State House. 
IMany flags were thrown out in honor of the occasion, and the 
entire way was filled with indications of rejoicing. The line 
was formed in front of the State House at 11.30 a.m. The 
Governor advancing to the gateway, received the regimental 
colors from Colonel Edmands, saying: "Mr. Commander! 
In the name of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I re- 
ceive from your hands the colors of the Twent^'-fourth Regi- 
ment. You and your men can afford to part with them, and 
we are proud to take them back, since they reflect upon you 
and upon us the highest honors of war and the full assurance 
of peace. With the other kindred memorials of Massachu- 
setts arms and Massachusetts hearts, they shall be preserved 
in this Capitol for the observation of all the people. 

"The limitations of this occasion will not permit me to 
recall to those who are in attendance to witness the closing 
scene of your long and eminent service. Since you left the 
State more than four years ago, the eyes of our citizens have 
followed you — with Bumside to Roanoke Island, Newbern, 
Kinston. and Goldsboro in North Carolina ; into South 
Carolina to the assault on Fort Wagner and to the siege of 
Charleston ; to Florida and back to South Carolina ; to the 

400 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Army of the James, engaged at Drewry's Bluff, Deep Bot- 
tom, in the siege of Petersburg, and retained among the last 
to crown the triumphs of the field with peaceful guaranties. 

"I welcome you home, but all have not returned. Eight 
ofiQoers of the line and 210 enlisted men have fallen in battle 
and by the casualties of war. The soldiers' bed has been 
made for them; but their names shall be treasured upon the 
official rolls and in the heart of the State, and they themselves 
shall live in immortal fame. 

"AVhen I think of the discipline of the Twenty-fourth, 
distinguished among all the armies of the United States, I 
cannot forget him who recruited it and so long commanded 
it. It would be an omission ungrateful to you and uncon- 
genial to my own feelings if, before your ranks dissolve for 
the last time, I were not to pronounce in your presence, with 
honor to the dead and with respect to the living, the name of 
Brigadier-general Stevenson. Not a more heroic spirit has 
passed triumphantly the portals which this war has opened 
to so many young and noble and brave. 

"It only remains that I should transfer your colors to 
the great companionship in which they shall henceforth be 
preserved, and that in behalf of a grateful people, I should 
greet and honor your return. ' ' 

After these exercises at the State House, the lines were 
again formed and all proceeded to Faneuil Hall, where a col- 
lation was served by the city of Boston in honor of the return 
of her sons. After the eating. Mayor Lincoln spoke 
at length, eloquently recalling the extended services of the 
regiment and concluding with these w^ords : ' ' Again I wel- 
come you. I welcome you back to Massachusetts, to whose 
renown you have added by your exploits; to Boston, its cap- 
ital, whose chief pride is in the character of its citizens, and 
to old Faneuil Hall, sacred in its past memories, but living a 
new life in the last few years, as its doors have opened, time 
and again, to greet the patriotic sons of the Union who have 
retiirned in triumph, victorious over the enemies of the 
; nrblic.'' 

Jan. '66. 



Maj . Davis Foster. 
Bvt.-Maj. R. Carnitliers. 

Q. M. James Thompson. 
Capt. W. F. Wiley (K). 

Lieut. Geo. A. Higgins (H). 
Capt. G. W. LeFavor (I). 

For his men and himself, Colonel Edmands responded in 
fitting terms, and the veterans made the old hall ring- with their 
cheering for their gallant leader. General George H. Gor- 
don, who was commanding the New England Guard when 
the war began, and who had won fame during the progress 
of the struggle, was next heard with interest, and then Gen- 
eral F. A. Osborn, who had so long led these men, spoke. 
The "boys" were loud in their shouts as their old commander 
arose, and Faneuil Hall never heard heartier cheering than 
that which greeted the first Lieutenant-colonel of the Twenty- 
fourth, who said it did him good to see his old command look- 
ing up to him as they had done in many scenes of danger; he 
paid the highest compliment to the regiment, referring to 

402 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

its promptness in obeying orders under all circumstances and 
without questioning. He had never received a disrespectful 
word from a member of the Twenty-fourth, and he would 
rather command that body of men than any other regiment 
in the army. It never flinched in the performance of duty, 
whether on the dreary march, the pitiless bivouac or in the 
rain of bullets on the battlefield. 

General William Schouler, the war Adjutant-general of 
the Commonwealth, gave the soldiers some practical advice 
as to their conduct when they separated, warning them 
against the guerrillas of Boston, who were lying in wait to 
despoil them of whatever valuables they might chance to 
have. He cautioned them to take good care of their 
money and their discharge-papers, saying that their bounty 
and pay were ready in the State Treasury. Eemarks also 
were made by General B. F. Edmands and by the Rev. Mr. 
Gaylord, after whom Colonel Thomas F. Edmands addressed 
his men for the last time, saying that the only thing for him 
to do was to bid farewell to them, which he did with great 
emotion. Then came more cheers for the Colonel, final hand- 
shakes all around, and the men were off for their homes and 
the loving greetings there awaiting them. 

"And back again came the marching men, 

The bugle sounding still, 
But the music's surge had a sighing dirge. 

So soft and low and shrill. 
And a woman wept, for a soldier slept. 

The dreamless, silent sleep. 
And the bugle song had a measure wrong. 

For buglers sometimes weep." 


A '//: B:!,C'. <L iX-irs 

Bronze Memorial. 403 


(The following account is abridged from the address of General Fran- 
cis A. Osborn at the presentation, along with accompanying data, as 
given in the printed volume issued by the Memorial Association late in 

The personal characteristics of General Stevenson, the first 
Colonel of the Twenty-fourth, together with his distinguished 
services to the nation, and the manner of his death in the 
presence of the enemy^ had long caused the community to 
feel that some permanent memorial of him should be erected 
in the State House. In the month of February, 1905, several 
of his old friends and comrades decided that the time had 
come for action. The movement was committed to the care 
of the Twenty-fourth Club, consisting of officers of the Twen- 
ty-fourth Eegiment and. at a meeting of the Club, February 
27, 1905, the subject was thoroughly considered and the "Gen- 
eral Thomas G. Stevenson Memorial Association" was organ- 
ized. An Executive Committee, having full powers to raise 
funds for the purpose of erecting a memorial in the State 
House, was appointed as follows : 

Francis A. Osborn, President, Edw. C. Richardson, Secretary, 

Charles B. Amory, Treasurer, 

Robert F. Clark, James Thompson, Frank G. Webster, 

Thomas F. Edmands, Edward C. Johnson, John Parkinson, 

Charles Hunt. 

A circular representing the New England Guard, the 
Fourth Battalion, the Twenty-fourth and Forty-fourth Regi- 
ments, Massachusetts Volunteers, with their friends was sent 
out reciting the purpose of the Association, viz. : to erect at 
tJhe entrance to the Hall of Flag's in the State House, a 
high relief in bronze of General Stevenson, the cost thereof 
to be in the neighborhood of $5,000. 

404 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Through the Legislature and the Governor and Council 
permission was obtained to place the figure at the right of the 
south entrance to Memorial Hall and the services of Mr. 
Bela L. Pratt, a Boston artist of repute, were secured for the 
task. All of this was done in less than a month from the 
date of organizing the Association, thus affording an idea 
of the energy with which the work was foi'warded. The 
artist, working with the same enthusiasm which had charac- 
terized the Executive Committee, proceeded at once to execute 
his commission. The design submitted in model meeting the 
approval of the Governor and Council and of the Committee, 
the full-sized figure was made and the same was cast in 
bronze by the Gorham Manufacturing Company of Prov- 
idence during the summer. The finished product of artist's 
hand and bronzist's care was placed in position in the 
month of November, 1905. 

The relief itself, a little over life size, full length, repre- 
sents the officer as coming towards the observer, field-glasses 
in hand. He has taken them from his eyes as he strides for- 
ward to get the broader view of the unaided vision, it being 
the sculptor's intention to represent General Stevenson at the 
height of one of his campaigns, and to give to the face and 
figure some feeling of the tense strain of actual warfare. 
So well has Mr. Pratt accomplished his purpose, so perfectly 
does his work harmonize with its surroundings, that this 
remark has been heard: "It seems as if the settings were 
built around the relief, instead of it being fitted into a wait- 
ing niche." Cast in a light colored bronze, having a gray- 
green finish, the result is in perfect harmony with its envi- 
ronment of Italian marble. 

By an agreement with State authorities and the officers 
of the Association, the 7th of December was fixed upon as 
the day of dedication. The large assemblage of interested peo- 
ple in the afternoon of the day named, was a living attest of 
the respect in which is held the memory of the young hero who, 
so many years before, fell a sacrifice to the maintenance of the 

Bronze Memorial. 405 

Union. Beginning promptly at 2 o'clock with the bugle 
call, there followed the presentation, unveiling and accept- 
ance of the bronze, the latter office being performed by the 
Hon. Wm. ]M. Olin, Secretary of the Commonwealth. Prayer 
was offered by the Rev. Edward A. Horton, Chaplain of the 
day, and the memorial address was given by General Fran- 
cis A. Osborn. Appropriate music was interspersed by the 
band of the Fifth Regiment, M. V. M., under the direction 
of John Morley Flockton. 

The address of General Osborn was all that might be 
expected from his long association w4th General Stevenson. 
The occasion had been incomplete without so competent and 
fitting a eulogist. With certain omissions, the address 
follows : 

"Thomas Greely Stevenson was born in Boston, February 
3, 1836. His father was J. Thomas Stevenson, who was of 
an old Boston family and filled an honored position as one 
of the leading men of this city, holding many places of trust 
and honor, a man of high character, of tried ability and genial 
manners, universally looked up to and respected. His mother 
was Hannah Hooper Stevenson, a member of a prominent 
Marblehead family, and a woman of great force of charac- 
ter and affectionate nature. She was a grand-daughter of 
General John Glover, a gallant officer of the Revolution, who 
distinguished himself in many actions, whose statue lends 
dignity to Commonwealth Avenue. Truly, General Stevenson 
was fortunate in his ancestry, from whom can be traced many 
of the attractive characteristics which so greatly endeared him 
to his friends. 

"He was educated in the Boston common . schools, finishing 
at the public Latin School. From there he went into a 
merchant's counting-room, and later into the service of the 
Boston & Lowell Railroad Company, where he was in 
April, 1861, at the breaking out of the Ci\il War. He had 
already sho"v\Ti an aptitude and liking for military matters, 
and was at that time a sergeant in the New England Guards, 

406 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

a militia company of Boston, which dated its existence from 
1812, and had since that time held a conspicuous and dis- 
tinguished position in the volunteer militia of the Common- 

[The following sixteen pages of General Osborn's address give in effect 
the services of General Stevenson in Fort Independence, in the formation 
of the Twenty-fourth Regiment and his experiences with that organiza- 
tion up to the time of their separation, when the regiment was ordered 
to Florida, all of which is interspersed through the pages of this volume. ] 

"Through all this weary period of the siege [of Wagner], 
General Stevenson, while burdened with work and anxiety, 
advanced his already high reputation for ability and effi- 
ciency, securing and retaining in a high degree the confidence 
of his superior officers, and the affection and implicit trust 
of his troops. But during the early months of 1864, his 
health gave way under his unremitting labor, and he was 
obliged to return to Boston on sick leave. At that time Gen- 
eral Grant was making his plans for the great movements 
which took place in the following summer. General Burnside, 
who commanded the Ninth Corps, having a lively remem- 
brance of General Stevenson and appreciating fully his high 
character and his value as a commander, made application 
to have him assigned to duty in that corps. His request was 
granted, and General Stevenson was directed to report to 
General Burnside, who put him in command of his First 
Division. The Ninth Corps came up to the Army of the 
Potomac, May 6th, in time to take part in the hard-fought 
and bloody battle of the Wilderness and subsequent des- 
perate engagements. Now for the first time, General Steven- 
son occupied a position where he could exercise his abilities 
on a large scale and show how the thought, the study, and the 
experience of nearly three years in active service in war 
had developed and matured his native capacity. High hopes 
were entertained of his future, and fond anticipation pre- 
dicted brilliant achievements. Had he lived, they would have 
been realized, and he would have taken rank as one of the 

Bronze Memorial. 407 

historic generals of the war having a national reputation. 
But, alas! the opportunity was but a brief one. On the 
10th of the month, in the battle of Spotteylvania, when he 
had been but a few days at the head of his division, he was 
shot and instantly killed. 

"Thus was cut untimely off a noble life, in the vigor of 
youth, full of patriotic zeal, and charged Avitli capacity for 
brilliant service in his country's cause. The measure of the 
loss cannot be estimated, but the deep grief felt, by his com- 
rades is a matter of bitter memoiy. By the nation would 
be missed the gallant, brave and thorough soldier, with his 
clear good sense, his calm judgment, his military ability and 
his conscientious devotion to its servnce; but friends mourned 
the joyous comrade, the warm-hearted, faithful friend, and 
the true man. Thank God that such men live ! Even though 
they walk among us for but a few short years, they exalt 
our confidence in the noble capacity of human nature, and 
furnish an example and a lofty inspiration to all who know 

"Of General Stevenson's capacity as an officer and com- 
mander of men, I cannot speak too highly. Whether or not he 
would have developed that rare military talent which makes 
high and independent command illustrious, I cannot decide, 
for he was never brought to the test of experience; but I 
am liappj'' in the belief that the man who had risen from 
grade to grade by merit, had ever filled each new position 
with ability and with credit, and had always been found 
equal to every emergency, would have made an honorable 
mark in any place of responsibility to which he might be 

"From the moment he entered the service his h^art was in 
his work, and he devoted all the energies of an active and 
intelligent mind to giving to his beloved country the best 
and all there was in him. He did not take up the profession 
of arms from a desire of military glorj^ — he cared nothing 
for it. But, when he saw his country's peril, he felt that no 

408 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regimext. 

sacrifice in repelling the danger would be too great, and he 
would not have shrunk back had he known that the last 
full measure of devotion that he finally paid was inevitable. 
He was filled with that lofty courage that fully realizes 
danger, but nevertheless faces it calmly, upborne by the 
high sense of duty that steels the heart and exalts the mind 
and banishes all thought of consequences. With that spirit 
he entered upon the important office of Colonel of the 
Twenty-fourth Regiment. He realized from the very begin- 
ning that the lives, health, and welfare of the men of his 
command were under his charge, and measurably subject 
to his control, and he made it a study how he could best 
perform his responsible duties. Without the training of a 
professional officer to guide him through the difficulties 
of his arduous task and to guard him against mistakes, he 
supplied its place with assiduous study of the requirements 
of his position, prompted and stimulated by a deep sense of 
responsibility, with the good judgment that quickly seized 
upon the best means for accomplishing results, and above 
all and more than all with that consecrated devotion to duty 
that thought no effort too great for attaining success, and 
considered nothing done to that end so long as anything 
remained to be done. 

"That he organized a regiment that was a credit to this 
Commonwealth and received the warmest encomiums from all 
the general officers under whom it served, was not a matter 
of chance or good luck. The regiment was composed of fine 
material, of picked men drawn from all parts of the State ; 
but even that was a part of his plan formed before a single 
man was recruited, and, therefore, was to his credit. But 
good men, brave men, do not of themselves make a good 
regiment. It is needful that they be welded into a compact 
mass, completely subservient to the will of their commander, 
full of faith in him and pervaded with his enthusiasm. To 
achieve that result is the office of discipline, which I under- 
stand to be the inspiring of the members of a command with 

Bronze Memorial. 409 

such a deep sense of their obligation to the service and to 
their punctual and faithful performance of their duty there- 
in that they give themselves up to the will of their superiors, 
and obey their behests almost automatically. 

"General Stevenson was eminently fitted to establish and 
maintain that form of discipline that subdued his command 
to implicit and cheerful obedience ^vithout crushing the indi- 
viduals under a sense of irritating control. He was in no 
sense a martinet. He did not love power for its own sake, 
and he never used it wantonly, but he thoroughly understood 
that discipline is the foiuidation of all efficiency, and that 
any army without it is nothing better than a mob. While 
insisting on obedience, promptness, punctuality, and faith- 
fulness, he carefully avoided petty restrictions and unneces- 
saiy constraint. He sympathized with his men, and realized 
that nothing was more important for carrying on the war 
than the need that those who were to do the fighting should 
be maintained in full vigor and in good spirits. Thoughtless 
of himself, ever thoughtful of others, he gave unremitting 
care to the welfare of the men, and postponed attention to 
his personal wants until he was sure he had done for them 
everything in his power. They on their side soon came to real- 
ize the kind spirit that underlay the strict discipline that was 
enforced, and to recognize that their commander exercised 
his authority not from a love of power or pride of office, but 
in the simple performance of his duty to make his command 
the most efficient possible instrument of war, and that, too, 
always with the keen appreciation that the body he was fash- 
ioning into the perfect shape was composed not of automatons, 
but of fellow soldiers, his brethren in a great cause. With 
the intelligence, good sense, firmness and patience that were 
his marked characteristics, animated with the kindly and 
sympathetic spirit I have described, the task of dealing with 
such excellent material as presented itself to him was an easy 
one, and the effect of his efforts became apparent even when 
the recruits that had been sent into the camp of instruction 

410 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

consisted only of squads of men who a few days previously 
had not known the meaning of a military order. The founda- 
tions were at that time laid broad and deep, and the super- 
structure that he built on them bore conclusive testimony to, 
the wisdom of his methods and the efficiency of his efforts. 
Though he remained only a part of a year with the regi- 
ment before he was called to higher command, he in that 
time so impressed his spirit upon it that it always bore the 
stamp of his genius, always looked up to him with affection- 
ate regard, and rejoiced to continue' under his conunand as 

''It is a fact of the utmost significance that the rest of the 
troops of the brigade, among whom were included the gal- 
lant Forty-fourth Massachusetts, so well and favorably known 
and honored in Boston, conceived for him at once the same 
cordial feeling, the same confidence in his capacity and his 
faithfulness, and the same loyal devotion to his service. 
Never was a brigade more devoted to its comjaander, more 
reposeful in its trust in him. 

"It is difficult to convey to one who never knew our friend 
whom we commemorate in this noble and impressive bronze 
the charm that pervaded him, the influence he exerted over 
those who came in contact with him, and the affection he 
attracted from one and all, whatever might be the relation 
they bore to him, whether of friend, superior, or subordi- 
nate. In any gathering when his personality had play, he 
was easily first, and was the centre around which others 
revolved. And this without any assumption on his part, or 
any effort to create such an effect, for his modesty was as 
conspicuous a characteristic as his ability. His native force 
of character, the self-poise that held him equal to any emer- 
gency, the broad mind that took a calm survey of every 
situation, the cool judgment that guided him unerringly 
through all difficulties, the strength which he displayed in 
every position in M'hich he was placed, commanded universal 
respect, and would of themselves alone have made him a 
marked man and a favorite. 

Bronze Memorial. 


"But what endeared him to all, what aroused a tenderness 
and a depth of feeling- that a man rarely feels for one of 
his own sex, was his warmth of heart, the cordiality of his 
friendship, his frank and open character, his transparent sin- 
cerity, his generous appreciation of the good qualities of 
others, the modesty to which I have already referred, the 
absolute freedom from any trace of affectation or self-asser- 
tion, and the sense of humor that made him ever a cheery 
companion. He was a true, earnest and faithful friend, and, 
as a natural and necessary result, he made friends and kept 

"For forty-one years his mortal remains have lain in the 
grave, but to his friends his memory is to this day as fresh 
and green as if they had parted with him but yesterday. 
For the most of mortals, the sad lament, 'Are we then so soon 
forgotten when we are dead?' must be uttered with a con- 
viction of the truth it bears : but our loved departed comrade 
belongs to that limited and illustrious company of rare souls 
whose memoiy wells up in the hearts of their friends like 
a living spring pouring out its clear, sparkling, and refresh- 
ing stream in never ceasing flow." 

412 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


Perhaps nothing contributed more to the early prestige of 
the Twenty-fourth than the fact that its officers were able 
to take with them in their army life the most famous musical 
aggregation at that time in the country. Though each man 
had enlisted, yet to secure the services of the musicians, it was 
necessary for the commissioned officer to reach down into 
their pockets and pay therefrom a certain percentage of their 
regular compensation. The wonderful spirit of unity that 
prevailed among these officers rendered possible what could 
hardly have been attained elsewhere. The band was easily 
the star wherever military music was in question, and the 
dulcet strains M'hich accompanied the progress of the regi- 
ment southward lingered long in the ears of those who heard. 
Whether delighting the senses of Governor Hicks and his 
associate Marylanders in Annapolis, or captivating General 
Burnside and staff with listening natives in Newbern, Gil- 
more and his men played their best and there could be no 
better. When Arbuckle placed the cornet to his lips and 
essayed "The Last Eose of Summer," or "Annie Laurie," 
there was nothing doing within the sound of his notes but 
listening. Just to think of the privileges of those far-away 
folks at the junction of the Trent and the Neuse. They 
had all that was afforded a few years later to the assembled 
thousands in the great peace jubilees. Need any one wonder 
that the Confederate prisoners at Roanoke fairly went wild 
when, as they were filing down to the transports that were 
to take them to their own Rebeldom, Gilmore and his men 
struck up ' ' Dixie ' ' ? What though the leader was called down 
by some one in authority for his act, he had the pleasure of 
knowing that he had given the enemy one precious moment 
never to be forgotten. 

As nearly perfect as the musicians were in their work, they 
could produce discords, as when their application for a fur- 
lough was disapproved. Then in their way across the parade 

Gilmore's Band. 413 

ground, there came from their brazen instruments notes 
that no one would believe them capable of blowing, but the 
spell disappeared and harmony as of old prevailed. When 
the muster-out of all regimental bands enlisted as such came, 
the men played their farewells amid the regrets of their 
listeners and their own sorrow that the separation must come. 
But Gilmore did not forget his old associates in the Twenty- 
fourth, and very soon after reaching Boston the band gave 
a concert which netted a comfortable sum for the equipping 
of a band to be drawn from the enlisted men of the regi- 

One of the very first acts of Gibiiore on his return to 
Boston was to project a grand concert, and the advertisement 
with which he heralded the event was so characteristic of 
the man that only lack of space prevents its publication in 
full. He states the reasons for the return of the band, and 
says that its year's experience "on the field of battle " 
renders the organization all the better equipped for musical 
service. He considers the band still a part of the "gallant 
corps from which we have been so recently detached, and we 
are proud to claim an attachment with so noble a regiment, 
which is at present in a high state of discipline, and in 
action may be relied upon as a unit. I look upon Colonel 
Thomas G. Stevenson as a combination of the disciplinarian, 
commissary, judge advocate, medical inspector, and true 
gentleman, all moulded into a brave and thorough soldier 
and a most reliable commander. He has been most ably 
seconded by Lieutenant-colonel F. A. Osborn, upon whom 
the command of the regiment has devolved for some time, in 
consequence of Colonel Stevenson being detached to act 
in the capacity of a brigadier-general. Colonel Osborn 
knows the full meaning of the word 'duty,' and not only 
does he expect, but he sees to it that every man under his 
command must faithfully perform the same or suffer the 
consequences. The line and staff officers are as full of enthu- 
siasm to-day as they were when the first glow of patriotism 

414 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

inspired them to go forth in their country's cause. The 
non-commissioned officers are a glorious set of fellows, and 
with all the charms and attractions of camp-life and active 
service, the boys of the rank and file rather doubt that a 
soldier's life is alwaj^s gay, but there is a good time coming, 
when they will look back with as much pleasure and satis- 
faction upon their war experience as the members of the 
band do at the present moment." 

All this was a prelude to the statement that the concert 
would be given in Music Hall, on Saturday evening, Septem- 
ber 13, 1862: "We shall appear as a military band only- 
performing the gems of such music as have floated over 
the wild waves and mingled with the howling winds of 
Hatteras ; such patriotic airs as fell upon the ears of 3000 
rebel prisoners, and echoed through the dense woods of 
Eoanoke; such strains as followed our victorious march to 
Newbern and vibrated through the deserted streets of that 
once fair city; and, more than all, such music as has revived 
the drooping spirits of many a weary soldier, or soothed 
the pain of many a w^ounded patriot." With a promise to 
play a piece in memory of their deceased comrade, Morehouse, 
Gilmore ends his notification, which must have convinced 
Boston that "Richard was himself again," if indeed he had 
ever been otherwise. 

Patrick Sarsfield Gilniar^rJ^^as born in County Galway, 
Ireland, Christmas Day, to9^ It might with truth be said 
that he was nature's Christmas gift to a music-loving world. 
Luckily the parental plan of making a priest of the young 
man did not succeed, and though there was a waste of time 
in an Athlone commercial house in his early life, his musical 
bent was permitted to have full sway. Fiddles, fifes and 
drums, home-made, were his childhood's toys, and everything 
of melody or harmony fell upon his ear like a charm. This 
trend of the lad was early discovered by his Atlilone 
employer, and instead of condemning it, he utilized the 
same by making the juvenile Orpheus the musical instructor 

Gilmore's Band. 415 

of his children. Athlone was a garrison town, usually having 
several regiments quartered there, and the results with such 
an impressionable boy as Gilmore may be imagined. All 
his spare time was spent with the bands. Finally a retired 
leader named Keating took our prodigy in hand and put 
him through such a course of harmony and instrumentation 
that, in a short time, he could play any instrument in the 
amateur band of the place, and for which he composed 
several musical pieces. He was nineteen years old when he 
said "good-bye" to Ireland and sailed for Boston. In a 
week after his arrival here, he was at the head of a band 
and successively led the Charlesto-v^Ti. Suffolk and Brigade 
bands. Yielding to a tempting offer of a thousand dollars 
a year, he went to Salem and remained there four years ; 
then coming back to Boston, he organized the band bearing 
his own name, with which he won a reputation as wide as 
the nation. Soon after came his experience with the Twenty- 
fourth, and later he was made by General Banks the direct- 
or of all the bands in the Department of the Gulf. It was in 
New Orleans, ^March 4, 1864, that he carried out his first 
mass jubilee. In a city only a year or two out of rebel 
dominance, he organized a chorus of 10,000 school children, 
collected an orchestra of 500 players and, on the inauguration 
of Michael Hahn as the first Union Governor of Louisiana, 
with infantry and artillery accompaniments, he made that 
vast aggregation join in patriotic airs, crowning all with 
the "Star Spangled Banner," which the gifted leader always 
said was the cro^\^ling triumph of his life. With the peace 
jubilees in Boston, 1869 and 1872, the world is familiar, they 
being marvels of size, combinations and success. In 1873 
Gilmore went to New York City and organized a band to be 
known for many years as that of the Twenty-second Regiment, 
with which he played in Gilmore's Garden, made national 
tours, even going to Europe, and there adding to his reputa- 
tion as a leader and manager. During the later years of his 
life his famous band, directed by that magic baton, seated in 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Eegiment. 

the cavernous mouth of the tunnel-like stage at Coney Island, 
attracted many thousands of eager listeners, who watched 
him as he elicited a concourse of sweet sounds, easily the most 
talented orchestral director America had seen. With his 

Matthew Arbuckle. H.N.Blake. P. S. Gilmore. 

H. D. Simpson. Ahven, August, and H. A. Kammerling. William H. Cundy. 

(tIlmore's band. 

band he was playing an annual engagement in St. Louis, Mo., 
in September, 1893, when, on the 24th, after less than a day's 
illness, he died at the Lindell House. Seemingly there 
should have been many more years of leadership for this 
gifted son of harmony^ but the baton had been raised for 
the last time: the curtain was rung down. 

Gilmore's Band. 417 

Matthew Arbuckle not only came first alphabetically, but 
as a musician he had no rival in the band or elsewhere, in 
his particular line, till the appearance of Jules Levy. Born 
in Scotland, as a boy he joined the Twenty-sixth Cameronians, 
and with that regiment saw service in India and China, 
coming to Canada early in the fifties. There he attracted 
the attention of a bandman from the States, who was delighted 
"\vitli an exhibition of talent in Arbuckle 's use of the cornet, 
a talent that the artist himself, apparently, had not realized. 
This visitor prevailed upon the Scotchman to desert and to 
follow him to Troy, N. Y., where he was the star in a local 
band. There he was heard by Isaac Fiske, at the time the 
leader of an aspiring musical organization in Worcester. His 
inducements were such as to draw Arbuckle to that city at or 
about 1857, and there he remained, easily the crowning fea- 
ture in the band, till Gilmore, leading his own troupe on his 
return from the Charleston Convention in 1860, discovered 
him. For the Boston man to hear such music in a provincial 
city was the height of wonder. He made haste to secure the 
marvelous Scotchman for Boston service, and there the war 
engagement found him. His old-time army service made 
military life easy, but British experience had left impressions 
on Arbuckle 's character and habits that not all of his Ameri- 
can life could efface. 

However, once on his feet and with bugle at his lips, 
such melody as only he could make saluted the senses of his 
Newbern listeners. Somehow the band, presuming somewhat 
on its distinguished character, had acquired the notion that 
it was not expected to perform the regular duty of musicians 
when a fight was raging, viz. : to carry off the wounded, but 
a positive and direct statement as to their duties given by the 
Colonel set the matter right, and in the engagement at 
Tranter's Creek in June, '62, Surgeon's Assistant Spear 
remarks that the band was right up where it belonged and 
Gilmore and Arbuckle, under fire, were helping the wounded 
back to the rear. Thousands will ever remember with 

418 , Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regument. 

delight the triumphs of this wonderful cornetist at Boston's 
peace jubilees. Soon after the jubilee of 1872, he removed 
to New York, and for the last years of his life was the 
band-master of the Ninth Eegiment. He died of pneumonia 
in the latter city, May 23, 1883, aged fifty-four years. 

Henry N. Blake, after teaching in his wife's private school 
in Chelsea till 1872, went with his family to Beatrice, Neb., 
in which State he has been a teacher in public or private 
schools to date. Seventy-seven years old, he thus briefly 
summarizes his life in the West: "Passed examination and 
received No. 1, State Teacher's Certificate; was for many 
years Treasurer of State Teachers' Association; in Beatrice, 
he established a Preparatory and Normal School, founded and 
directed the Blake-Hesse Orchestra, filled the chair of Music 
and Elocution in the State Normal School; in 1894, removed 
to Nebraska City as principal teacher and director of the 
orchestra in the State Institution for the Blind, and later, till 
1903, was principal of one of the city schools, at which time 
be resigned." As a Free Mason our former bandman has 
been very prominent in lodge, chapter, council and com- 
mandery; he is communicant, vestryman and treasurer of 
St. Mary's Episcopal Church and superintendent of the Sun- 
day school; he is a past commander of his G. A. R. Post, and 
in a word. Professor Blake is one of the well-known men of 

William H. Cundy, who played a clarinet in the band, is 
a prosperous dealer in music and musical instruments, partic- 
ularly clarinet, at 93 Court Street, Boston. Born in Bir- 
mingham, England, he came to this country in 1854, and soon 
became one of Gilmore 's followers. He tells with great pleas- 
ure incidents of his career with the great leader, dwelling on 
the fact that in 1860 they had a great reception in the city 
of Richmond, escorted the Richmond Blues through the 
streets of the future capital of the Confederacy, and he 
exhibits as a souvenir the card of Messrs. Hill, Dickinson and 
Hill, who conducted a slave exchange. Those same Richmond 

Gilmore's Band. 419 

Blues were among the captured rebels at Roanoke, and when 
they were going away on their parole, the band played them 
down to the landing. They recognized the members of the 
band and were sociable enough on all subjects save that of 
the war. Says the interesting raconteur: "As they went on 
board the vessel, we gave them 'Dixie.' It seemed as though 
they would raise the roof with their shouts, but when we 
shifted to 'Carry me back to Ole Virginy,' they were 
actually wild. ' ' After the return, Mr. Cundy settled down to 
musical life in Boston, played for many years in the orches- 
tra of the Boston Theatre, and became a publisher of sheet 
music, being the originator of the five-cent style, assisted by 
the famous Ed. Rice of "Evangeline" fame, who was the 
printer. Mr. Cundy is one of the longest established dealers 
in ,his line in the city. 

Charles De La Fontaine, Mr. Cundy says, went to California 
soon after the war, and so far as he is aware, has not been 
heard from since ; he thinks his old comrade is dead. He was 
the man who excited the risibles of his comrades on the 
approach to Newbern, when in the foggy morning a shot 
from a masked cannon passed over them with no warning. 
Badly scared he fell to the ground and tried to cover himself 
with his bass-drum, which on account of his brevity of stat- 
ure he was able to do, but of his fright he never heard the 

Frederick F. Ford died in Boston, February 16, 1896. 

Louis Frederick died in Boston, December 24, 1874, the 
first to go after the discharge of the band. 

Frank B. Fuller, residing in Barberton, Ohio, where he 
is "inspector of Pittsburg valves and fittings," writes: "It 
was at the Newbern camp that Mr. Gilmore first laid his 
plans for the great peace jubilee, which were carried out to 
the letter in Boston in 1869. * * * jje could see more 
and further than most men, was never discouraged nor dis- 
suaded when once his mind was made up. This jubilee, with 
that of 1872, all must agree, made him world-renowned as 
the greatest musical organizer and leader." 

420 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

August Heise was a Providence musician. 

Cornelius Higgins is still active in musical circles, residing 
in New York City. 

Alwen Kammei'ling. the older of the two sons of August 
Kammerling, is a resident of Roxbury, having given up music 
on leaving the band. 

August Kammerling, as his name would imply, was a Ger- 
man and took his two boys into the band with him. For the 
last twenty years of his life, he gave up music and died in 
Omaha, Nebraska, January, 1893. 

Herman Kammerling, the younger of August's boys, is a 
resident of Winthrop, Mass., where he is a popular teacher 
of the violin and piano. 

Frank M. Kelly, who played the snare drum, died in Bos- 
ton, August 24, 1880. 

Charles W. Knowlton died in the National Soldiers' Home, 
Togus, Me., July 27, 1906. 

Edward Mille died in the Soldiers' Home, Togus, Me., 
August 21, 1902 ; the name is also found, Miille. 

Isaac H. Morehouse died of typhoid fever in the regimen- 
tal hospital at Newborn, May 19, 1862. He had been ill for 
several weeks and his associates in the band were most assid- 
uous in their care and attentions, the dying man finding 
much satisfaction in the music with which they favored him. 
His remains were forwarded to Boston for burial. 

William C. Nichols died in Boston, June 17, 1891. 

Thomas K. Payson of Boston, no record found. 

Henry D. Simpson died in Boston, March 21, 1898. 

J. Henry Steinman died in Cambridge, November 5, 1890. 

Stephen 6. Whittemore, after his service with the Twenty- 
fourth, was the leader of a band connected with one of the 
colored regiments; he died in Boston, August 28, 1899. 

John A. Zimmerman was a Charlestown man, supposedly 

Ferdinand Zohler of Boston ; his name disappeared from 
the directory more than twenty years ago. 

Captured Scout. 421 


In 1868, under the above title. Chaplain H. Clay Trumbull 
of the Tenth Connecticut Volunteers put forth the sketch 
of Sergeant Henry H. INIanning's life, the latter having been 
a member of Company G of the Twenty-fourth. The Chap- 
lain's dedication is especially cordial towards the regiment 
and reads as follows: "To the surviving members of the 
Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteers, this sketch of their 
comrade is affectionately dedicated, by one who holds in 
fresh and ever delightful reuiembrance his three years' expe- 
rience as their brigade companion and his ministry as their 
occasional chaplain. ' ' 

From the eloquent and touching tribute, there is space only 
for the following extracts : Manning was born among the 
rural scenery of Franklin County, being a native of Warwick, 
May 17, 1844. From earliest childhood the most helpful and 
dutiful of sons, he had the advantages of the public schools 
until in his early teens, where the war found him, ab-eady a 
wage-earner, trying to lighten home burdens, of whose exist- 
ence he was early conscious. Enlisting October 1st, he was one 
of the early recruits to the Guard regiment, and his whole ca- 
reer was one of faithfulness, in a body of men noted for excel- 
lent work. ' ' The Twenty-fourth Massachusetts was a noble bat- 
talion with a glorious record. Through its four years of ser- 
vice, its well-earned reputation for good discipline, thorough 
drill, and staunch courage was unsurpassed, and few regi- 
ments were its equals in hard fighting and practical efficiency. 
It would be enough for any man's soldierly reputation that 
he stood well in that regiment; for he who won honor there 
deserved it anywhere." Of his soldierly qualities, his officers, 
Ordway, Edmands and Stoddard, united in the most flatter- 
ing comments. 

In all the incidents of the Burnside Expedition, Manning 
bore his part with exemplary fortitude, always near the front, 
never a laggard. It was at Seabrook Island in the summer 

422 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

of 1863 that he first met the Chaplain and came under the 
latter 's benig-n influence. On James' Island he suffered a 
severe attack of malarial fever, following a sun-stroke. He was 
with his regiment in all work against the fortifiications of 
Charleston, where "The Twenty-fourth sweltered and toiled 
with the other regiments, and won for itself a proud name 
in the brilliant charge on the rifle-pits in the very face of 
Wagner 's guns. ' ' He was among the earliest and readiest to 
re-enlist when the regiment was in Florida. "Had he been 
wanted for thirty or fifty years instead of three or five, he 
doubtless would have been ready. God be praised that such 
boys lived and were willing to die in the hour of our country's 
need." He returned from his furlough with his comrades in 
time to join for the movement of Butler against Richmond 
by way of Bermuda Hundred. "When, early in June, '64, 
General Butler called for a volunteer scout, or quasi spy, to 
enter the enemy's lines and bring back information as to 
his position and numbers, the invitation found a ready 
response in the case of Manning, thinking that he might be of 
real service to the cause he loved. 

"It requires not a little moral courage and true nerve to 
deliberately leave one's military lines in the face of the 
enemy and pass over into the encircling forces of the foe. 
But Henry Manning had counted the cost of his undertaking, 
and late on the evening of June 7, '64, he glided stealthily 
down the steep right bank of the river James, and along the 
water's edge in the shade of the heavy foliage, until he had 
passed the rebel picket in front of the famous 'Hewlett Bat- 
tery;' then cautiously and with bated breath he crept 
up the bank, and was Avithin the enemy's intrench- 
ments. " He saw enough in his new surroundings to have 
seriously affected the military situation had he been able to 
return at once and report, but he must wait till the shades 
of another night should fall, so. seeking a secluded place in 
the forest near Chester station, he concealed himself in its 
cover and was soon fast asleep. When he awoke he was 
surprised to hear the sound of voices near him and indica- 

Captured Scout. 423 

tions of a change in the situation. Soon surrounded by the 
enemy, he was seized and hurried before General Beauregard. 
His order from General Butler, found upon his person, gave 
ample evidence of his mission and he was assured that he 
would be hung before sundown. However, it was decided to 
try him by court martial, and he was sent to Petersburg, 
where he was consigned to the most loathsome of prison-cells, 
whence he was eventually sent to Georgia for trial. By 
some error he was carried to Andersonville, but after seven 
daj^s, he was tracked out and sent on to Macon, where he 
was confined in the jail. Here he suffered from all sorts of 
privation, going very near to death's door, in the period mak- 
ing several efforts to escape, but each time was recaptured. 

Back to Andersonville, he was committed to that pit of 
horrors, suffering even more than his comrades on account 
of the charges against him: though the same having been 
lost, his case was not tried. Under these circumstances and 
with the hope that an opportunity might arise to reach his 
own lines, by the means, he entered the rebel service. 

Ever on the alert to secure information that might be of 
use in case he ever did reach the Union lines, he waited the 
chance to escape. It came when Federal cavalry made a raid 
upon the place where he was stationed, and under a fire from 
the men in blue, who hardly comprehended his run for their 
side, and from those in gray, who readily surmised his object, 
he reached the ranks of his friends, though his story told 
to the commander was not believed, and he was sent as a 
captured rebel to Alton, 111., whence he sent complaint to his 
regiment, where he had been borne as a deserter. When the 
War Department had ordered his release he sent his first 
message home, thus : 

St. Louis, Mo., March 10, 1865. 
My dear Loved Ones : 

I still live and you shall hear from me soon. 

Henry H. Manning. 

Rejoining his regiment about the middle of April in Rich- 

424 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

mond, he was received with the greetings that his services 
and sufferings merited. On the 22d of April, by a special 
order, Corporal Manning was promoted to a sergeancy on 
account of his courage and constancy. 

But the privations of his prison life rendered it useless for 
him to continue longer in the army, and on the 16th of June 
he was honorably discharged and sent home. After the re- 
ception there that every good soldier received, when he reached 
his loved ones. Manning set about preparing for his life's 
work. The story of his adventures formed an excellent theme 
for many an audience and he soon entered Phillips Academy 
at Andover to prepare himself for the Christian ministry, 
through the education here and further to be acquired. But 
the seeds of disease, sown in the terrible trials of the south- 
lands, developed into permanent illness, so that his studies 
were given up and he returned to his home, there to linger 
in feebleness till September 2, 1868, when the loyal brother, 
son and soldier passed on to the other life. The sermon 
preached in his memory, September 13, formed the basis of 
the delightful tribute paid to the soldier by Chaplain Trum- 


[Somewhat abridged from the narratives of Surgeon Samuel A. Green 
and Captain John N. Partridge of the Twenty-fourth Massachusetts and 
that of Chaplain H. C. Trumbull of the Tenth Connecticut.] 

From Surgeon Green: — The French have a saying that there 
is nothing more probable than the improbable, and events 
often seem to prove the paradox. * * * j am about to 
relate a story Avith many unlikely elements which happened 
in connection with my regiment during its service in the 

In the autumn of 1861, a Boston boy, Frank McElhenny 
by name, enlisted in the Twenty-fourth, was duly mustered 
November 25, and assigned to Company F. His age was 
eighteen years and his mother was a widow. His early 

Deserter's Fate. 425 

advantages had been few, and he might have been considered 
a fair specimen of the North End i:ough. During the early- 
part of his enlistment, he experienced the usual lot that falls 
to the private soldier, but a little later he began to show a 
spirit of insubordination which led him to his miserable end. 
In the summer of 1862. when the regiment was stationed in 
Newbern, N. C, he was found guilty of some offense by a 
court martial and sentenced to imprisonment in Fort Macon, 
near Beaufort, N. C, for the remainder of the war. The fort 
is situated at one end of a very long and narrow island, so 
characteristic of that coast and separated from the mainland 
by the ''Swash:" and here Private McElhenny was impris- 
oned. In the course of a few weeks, amid the scenes of other 
exciting events, the affair ceased to be talked about, and 
passed entirely out of mind. Soon afterward it was reported 
in camp that McElhenny had escaped from his place of con- 
finement, but the rumor produced scarcely a ripple, so thor- 
oughly had the whole matter been forgotten. 

The scene now changes from North Carolina to Virginia, 
and let us pass over nearly two years. One hot and sultry 
afternoon in the month of July, 1864, on the picket-line in 
front of Richmond, a man in rebel uniform was seen running 
towards the Federal lines. At that time the distance between 
the two lines was very short, within speaking distance, though 
it varied in different places. It was late in the day, and the 
deserting soldier reached the post about ten minutes before 
the picket guard was to be relieved. Naturally, he was soon 
surrounded by men anxious to "buzz" him and learn the 
latest news from the other side. Among the first to approach 
him was a member of Company F of the Twenty-fourth, 
who approached him and at once said, ''How are you, 
Frank?" The rebel soldier, without being abashed, immedi- 
ately replied, "My name isn't Frank," which for the instant 
allayed any suspicion. 

A minute later a drummer boy who belonged to the same 
company came up and at once asserted the identity of the 

426 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

deserter with his old comrade, when McElhenny, in camp 
parlance, gave the whole thing away and acknowledged the 
fact. He was at once taken to the rear and delivered over to 
provost guard. The news spread like wildfire through the 
ranks of the regiment and created a great deal of excitement. 
The next day, he w^as sent to Fortress Monroe, where he was 
tried by court martial as a deserter from the Union army, 
was found gniilty and sentenced to be shot, the place of exe- 
cution to be near the camp of the brigade to which the regi- 
ment belonged, then near Deep Bottom, Va., on the north side 
of the James River. 

While under guard in camp, I had an interview with the 
unfortunate man and he told me that after escaping from 
Fort Macon and proceeding to the southern end of the nar- 
row island, he swam across to the mainland, and made his way 
to Raleigh, where for a short time he worked in a cobbler's 
shop. Finding this mode of life rather tame, after his army 
experience, he left for Richmond, where he enlisted under an 
assumed name, in a company of heavy artillery (Nineteenth 
Virginia Battalion). Again tiring of military discipline, he 
made up his mind again to desert, knowing that the National 
Government had agreed to send all deserters from the rebel 
army to any place in the North where they wished to go, 
and he intended to avail himself of the offer. 

If he had come into our lines on either one of the two 
preceding days, or on either of the two following, he would 
not have been recognized by any old comrade, as the regi- 
ment went on picket only once in three days. If he had 
come into our lines ten minutes later, the Twenty-fourth 
would have been relieved, and another regiment stationed 
in its place. Even on the day when he deserted from the 
rebels, if he had escaped to any other post, he would have 
gone among strangers and would have passed unrecognized. 
As it was, along a picket-line of nearly thirty-five miles 
there were many hundred posts, he struck the identical post 
manned by his own company, which ten minutes later was 

Deserter's Fate. 427 

manned by soldiers of another regiment, and took the one 
day in three when that combination of circumstances was 
possible. In the doctrine of chances, everything was in his 
favor, and yet he lost. It seems as if keen-eyed jufetice on 
that occasion had landed on the point of a needle. 

It belonged to me, in an official capacity, to be present 
at his execution ; and I pitied the poor wretch from the 
bottom of my heart. As he stood near his coffin by the open 
grave, just ready to receive it, he nodded to me very famil- 
iarly as if we were soon going to meet again, although he 
was then tottering on the verge of eternity. In colloquial 
language, he died ''game," but for all that he was utterly 
unfit to enter that awful presence about which we know 
nothing except through faith. He never knew — and for 
that matter, no one else in the camp — that in the forenoon of 
that warm day, I rode seven miles to the Point of Rocks, 
where were the headquarters of General Butler, then in 
command of the Army of the James, in order to intercede 
for him and secure a commutation of his sentence, but the 
effort was of no avail. 

From Captain Partridge : — The writer of this story at the 
time of McElhenny's desertion in 1862 was First Lieuten- 
ant of D Company, and early in 1864 was promoted to be 
Captain of F Company. To F Company was assigned the 
trying duty of execution. 

McElhenny was from the start a troublesome, insub- 
ordinate soldier. He was in several scrapes, and finally in 
1862 was tried for some offense and sentenced to imprison- 
ment for the remainder of his term of enlistment. One of 
the witnesses against him was Captain J. L. Stackpole of 
I Company, who later was Major, and judge advocate of the 
court martial which tried him on the charge of desertion. 

According to McElhenny's statement made to Chaplain 
Trumbull and myself the day before his execution, he was 
for some time in the Confederate Army stationed at Rich- 
mond, and for awhile was on guard over Federal prisoners 
at Libby Prison. He had watched the movements of his old 

428 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

regiment (Twenty-fourth Massachusetts) through the reports 
in the northern newspapers which often came his way. He 
had followed us thus from North Carolina early in 1863 to 
South Carolina ; later in the same year to Florida. It was in 
the summer of 1864 that the Confederate regiment in which 
he was serving was ordered to the front and late in July 
was confronting his old regiment at Deep Bottom, Va. At 
this time he supposed the Twenty-fourth Regiment was in 

Jul}^ 27th, the Twentj'-f ourth was ordered forward from its 
camp at Deep Bottom to assist in a demonstration intended 
to divert the attention of the Confederates and to prevent 
them from sending reinforcements to Petersburg, where 
more important work was going on. Our line was deployed 
and the intervals between companies wei"e considerably 
extended. There was not much firing on either side. 

During a lull in the firing, one of my drummer-boys 
called my attention to a ''rebel deserter" coming toward 
our line in front of another company. The boy asked per- 
mission to go and see the deserter, and his request was 
granted. In a few minutes he ran back and said the 
deserter was McElhenny. I recalled his record somewhat 
indistinctly after a lapse of nearly tAvo years and sent the 
drummer to Colonel Osborn to state to him the facts, and 
to ask him to have him detained and identified. He was 
so identified and' sent to the rear under guard. This inci- 
dent passed from my thoughts entirely until August 6th, 
when it was forcibly brought to my mind. 

I well remember that as we were coming in from evening 
parade on that afternoon I saw a prisoner being brought 
into camp in irons and under a strong guard. In a few 
minutes the rumor spread through camp that the prisoner 
was McElhenny, that he had been tried for desertion and 
sentenced to be shot. Shortly afterwards General Osborn 
confirmed this rumor and informed me I was to command 
the firing party, AA'hich was to be selected from among mem- 
bers of his former company. The official order came later. 

Deserter's Fate. 429 

On the following Monday — the 8th — the execution took 
place near oiir camp. The troops of the brigade were drawn 
up on three sides of a square. In the middle of the fourth 
was an open grave. 

While the brigade was being formed, the firing party of 
twenty-four men was selected by lot from McElhenny's 
former comrades of F Company. They were divided into 
two sections of twelve men each and were formed in line 
at the side of my tent. Eleven men in each section had 
rifles loaded with ball cartridges and one with a blank 
cartridge. Xo one knew who had the latter, so that each 
had a right to suppose that he held it. This was effected 
by causing a sergeant of the first section to carry all of 
its rifles into my tent and then to withdraw. Another 
sergeant entered with me and in my presence loaded eleven 
rifles with ball cartridges and one with a blank, and then 
changed the rifles about. We went out and a third ser- 
geant was ordered to bring the rifles out and distribute 
them without regard to their numbers. No one was alloAved 
to "spring rammer." The rifles of the second section were 
loaded in the same manner. 

The firing party then formed the escort for the prisoner. 
We marched from the guard tent, the band leading and 
playing a dirge, drums muffled. Following was an army 
wagon in which was a rude pine box to be used as a coffin. 
On it sat McElhenny and beside him a priest. The firing 
party, with arms reversed, brought up the rear. The most 
unconcerned appearing man in the entire group was the 
man who had the most at stake — -McElhenny. 

The procession halted at the grave on the open side of 
the square. The prisoner and the priest alighted, the box 
was taken out and placed beside the grave, and the band 
and wagon passed on. McElhenny was blindfolded, his arms 
were pinioned and he was told to kneel upon his coffin. 
The first section was drawn up a short distance in front 
of him and a volley was fired. McElhenny fell forward 
pierced by many bullets. After the regimental surgeon, 

430 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Dr. Green, had examined him and reported him dead, the 
brigade was formed in columns of fours and marched past 
the prostrate form — a warning to the living. After all 
had passed, the body was placed face downward in the box 
and lowered into the grave. The grave was then filled and 
the earth levelled. No mound or head-board marked the 
spot where the deserter was lying. Such was the ignomin- 
ious ending. 

From Chaplain Trumbull : — My first meeting with this 
man was the day before he was shot, as he sat on the banks 
of the James, handcuffed, fettered and closely guarded. 
Conscious of being watched by curious eyes of his old com- 
rades and others, he was evidently in an attitude of defiance, 
striving to appear unconcerned. Although not repelling 
with rudeness my proffers of interest and sympathy, he 
plainly said he was not going to break down now; he had 
"lived game," and he would ''die game." Even if there 
were a God and a hereafter, it was ''too late to think of 
that now." He had put it off too long. Then he spoke 
bitterly of those who had been over him in his earlier cam- 
paigning and insisted that he had been sinned against rather 
than been a wrong-doer in his army life. I saw that, just 
then, he was in no frame of mind for such service as I 
could render him, and I left him with assurances of prayer- 
ful interest in him and with a promise to come back in the 

When I came to him later, while we were no longer under 
the eye of observers, I found him less defiant. As I ques- 
tioned him about the past, I found that he had a mother 
living. I found also that he had been a guard in Libby 
Prison a year ago, while I was confined there. As he soft- 
ened down in his tone and manner, I asked him if I might 
pray with him ; he assented. As I prayed, with and for him, 
I prayed for his poor mother. At the mention of her name, 
he uttered a piercing cry and fell forward on his face; his 
whole frame convulsed with agony and with sobs that 

Deserter's Fate. 431 

seemed as if his very heart were breaking. Stretching my- 
self alongside him on the grass, under the quiet stars, I put 
m}^ arm over him and waited in silent show of sympathy. 
His hardihood was all gone; he was as a child again. He 
was glad to have me talk to him and to talk to me of him- 
self. He no longer blamed those who had aided in bringing 
him to this state. He blamed only himself. Finding that 
he was a Roman Catholic and would naturally desire the 
ministrations of a priest of that church, I made request of 
our division commander to telegraph to General Meade's 
headquarters, before Petersburg, for a priest, and soon I 
received word that one would be with us in the early morn- 

The next morning I had my first sight of a military ex- 
ecution. I wish it could have been my last. The entire 
brigade was ordered out to witness it. As the command 
stood waiting, in three sides of a hollow square, with an open 
grave in the centre of the fourth side, a deep, solemn, oppres- 
sive stillness weighed down upon all hearts. This stillness 
was broken by a low, soft, plaintive strain of music which 
came floating on the sultry air across the plain, from beyond 
the rise of ground in the direction of the camp he had left. 
It was the sound of a funeral dirge from muffled drums 
with the subdued notes of an accompanying band. A funeral 
dirge for a living man ! Hearts quickened and hearts stood 
still at the sound. A cart drawn by a pair of white horses 
bore the condemned soldier seated on his coffin, accompanied 
by the kindly priest, while a military escort marched on 
each side with atms reversed as though the man were 
already dead. The firing party, the guard and the music 
completed the gloomy procession. It was nearly half a 
mile away and it seemed a long, long while in coming. 

Low and soft as the breathing of an ^olian harp, mourn- 
ful and oppressive as a midnight funeral knell, the approach- 
ing music rose and fell in swelling and dying cadences, while 
listening ears ached in sympathy and waiting hearts 
throbbed in responsive tenderness. It was hard to bear. 

432 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Eegiment. 

Faces paled and hands shook which were not accustomed 
to show signs of fear, and officers and men alike would have 
welcomed a call to battle in exchange for that terrible 
inaction in the sight of coming death. Then came the last 
sad scene. The fettered deserter was helped from the cart, 
just back of the open grave. The priest knelt with him in 
prayer ; then bade him good-bye and retired a little distance 
to kneel and continue praying in his behalf. The guard 
formed on the right and left of the prisoner, and the firing 
party took position in front of him a dozen paces distant 
as he knelt on his coffin with bandaged eyes and pinioned 
arms. Twelve men were of the firing party. Eleven of 
the rifles were loaded with bullets and one with a blank 
cartridge. No one knew which rifle lacked its bullet, so 
that every soldier might think it possible that it was his. 
A second firing party was back of the first. Two surgeons 
were close at hand to see that the dread work was fully 

The dirge had died away. A stillness, even more painful 
than its wailing notes, had succeeded. This was broken by 
the low, clear spoken words of command: "Ready! Aim! 
Fire!" There was a sharp explosion. The condemned man 
fell forward on his coffin. The surgeons were quickly at 
his side. Five bullets had pierced his chest. Yet the pulse 
still beat and there was a low, moaning respiration. Soldier 
hands were not steady in aiming at a comrade's heart. The 
second party came forward; the orders were repeated; 
eight more bullets entered his chest and head. The deserter 
was dead! 

The entire brigade was marched in column by the open 
grave and the dead deserter. The band struck up a lively 
air, as always in going from a soldier's grave, and the com- 
mand returned to the camp again. None who witnessed that 
sight could ever forget it. 

J. K. Clark. 433 


The Twentj^-fourth had but one sutler, and he was Joseph 
Kempton Clark, who began his duties in the Eeadville camp 
and terminated them late in the summer of 1864, when his 
regiment was struggling on the extreme right of the Union 
Army in front of Richmond. Mr. Clark was born in Wis- 
easset, Maine, October 9, 1826, and in his infancy came with 
his parents to Boston, where the family resided till the lad 
was about five years old, when all went back to the Pine 
Tree State. In his youth he served as a clerk in a store 
and then went to sea, continuing in that work long enough 
to become the master of his craft. As might be expected, 
his father being in the lumber business, the young man 
was inducted early into that calling. Apparently he was 
not wanting in interest in passing affairs, since in 1854 
Governor Wm. G. Crosby of Maine made him a member of 
his staff, thereby conferring the title of Colonel, by which 
he was familiarly known in subsequent years. 

The immediate cause of his leaving his post with the regi- 
ment was the fact that his father, having a large lumber ven- 
ture in Pennsylvania, needed the presence and aid of his 
son, and there the latter remained for five years. Thence 
he M^ent to Minnesota and assisted in the planting of infant 
Duluth ; his stay there, however, was brief, for he soon went 
to Chicago, where, as a contractor in street and road mak- 
ing, he was on the high road to fortune, when, by the terrible 
conflagration of October 9, 1871, his birthday, his accumu- 
lations were swept away in a day. After pulling himself 
together, he left the scene of his losses in 1873, and repaired 
to the city of New York, where he became one of the four 
executive officers of the Sailors' Snug Harbor, situated on 
Staten Island, and there for twenty-six years he remained, 
retiring at the end of that period on a life pension. 

April 8, 1900, the hotel in which he made his home caught 
fire and in the excitement he fell down a flight of stairs, 
breaking his right arm and dislocating the shoulder. Then, 


to add to his misfortunes, his sight began to fail and in 
March, 1903, gave out entirely. After June, 1904, he made 
his home for the most part in Cottage Park, Winthrop, and 
in the town of Brookline, though he still counted Brooklyn, 
N. Y., as his home, retaining his citizenship or voting privilege 
there. Though completely blinded, he retained the cheerful- 
ness of earlier days, was full of happy reminiscence of years 
agone, and in answer to the question as to the profits arising 
from the sutler business, replied that the same amount of 
capital invested and properly cared for in the North in 
those days, would have brought as great or greater returns. 
As a sutler he had to endure raids, stealings from employees 
and soldiers, as well as risks from the enemy. He had ex- 
ceptional facilities on account of the regiment always being 
near the seaboard, so that his schooner, as a base of sup- 
plies, could be regularly utilized, yet the dangers of all sorts 
more than made up for the high prices at which his wares 
were sold. 

Among his pleasant recollections was that of being able 
to do a good turn for Captain ''Ed." Vaile of the steamer 
Guide, whom he encountered in Florida, several years ago, 
no longer the happy and prosperous manager of the vessel 
which almost merited the name of the regiment's houseboat. 
Through the kindness and good will of Colonel Clark, the 
Captain was given a home in the Sailors' Snug Harbor, 
where he died October 19, 1904. 

The story of the regiment was in type when the news came 
that Colonel Clark had died in Winthrop, July 29, 1907, and 
that his body was buried in the Moravian Cemetery, Staten 
Island, N. Y. 

Surgeon Green. 435 


The Burnside Expedition sailed without Surgeon Green of 
the Twenty-fourth, though he was left through no fault of 
his own. Perhaps his earlier service in the First Regiment 
had given him a prominent place among the regimental sur- 
geons gathered at Annapolis; at any rate Dr. W. H. Church, 
Division Surgeon, selected him for the duty of equipping 
two schooners for hospital purposes. After some labor in 
this direction, Surgeon Church, thinking the preparation un- 
duly large, directed the transferring of all the items gathered 
to one vessel, Adz., the Recruit. There were not many sick 
in the Annapolis hospital at the time of sailing, and Surgeon 
Green essayed to take with him only those who were hope- 
fully convalescing. The fleet sailed without the Doctor and 
his Recruit, neither Captain Coggeshall of the Recruit nor 
the Surgeon having sailing orders. Among the nurses on the 
vessel was S. K. Dunster of Co. K, afterwards hospital- 
steward. In this situation Dr. Green applied for advice to 
a staff officer of General Burnside, who, also, for some reason 
had been left behind. He advised Dr. Green to set out for 
Fortress Monroe at once and there get further direction. Act- 
ing accordingly, they arrived about twenty-four hours after the 
final departure of the fleet, hence, so far as direct orders were 
concerned, the situation was little better than at Annapolis. 
However, the Surgeon reported to General John E. Wool in 
command at the Fortress and from him received the follow- 
ing order: 

Headquarters of Virginia, 
Fortress Monroe, Va., 13th January, 1862. 

Captain Coggeshall and Surgeon Samuel A. Green will 
proceed to Hatteras Inlet, where he will learn the wherea- 
bouts of Brigadier General Burnside. 

John E. Wool, 

Major General. 

By this time the storm, which was working such havoc 
with the fleet on its appearance off Hatteras, was raging 
about the Fortress also, consequently the Captain of the Re- 
cruit waited till the fury of the storm was over and then set 
forth for North Carolina, making the trip in about a day and 
a half, and finding the fleet partly inside and partly out- 


side of the Swash, among other wrecks with which the coast 
w^as strewn, making special note of that of the New York, 
which had gone to pieces at so great a loss. It was easier 
to reach the Inlet than to go in and find the fleet's Medical 
Director, Dr. Church. The Recruit was manned by Cape 
Cod and Gloucester sailors belonging to the Twenty-fourth. 
In his impatient waiting to cross over the bar and so find his 
regiment. Dr. Green paced many miles upon the beach and 
recalls now his surprise when he saw finely drawn on the 
sands of the shore, a map of the town of Wendell, Mass., 
with which his family was connected, anH with the name 
plainly written. The Doctor was not a Crusoe nor ship- 
wrecked, but he was forlorn enough to appreciate a Bay 
State reminder, left upon the sands of North Carolina. 
However, even the delays of crossing had an end and he was 
able to report to Dr. Church and to secure the privilege of 
reporting to his regiment, where he felt more at home and 
where his services were constantly required. 


The Roll of Honor, printed by the Government, contains 
the names, w^hen known, of all the Union dead buried in the 
national cemeteries. Not far from 100,000 bodies of soldiers 
are thus waiting the judgment day "under the laurel" so 
beautifully sung by Judge Francis 'M. Finch in his "Blue 
and the Gray." The dead of the Twenty-fourth w^ere left 
in all the States in which the regiment saw service. Those 
who fell in South Carolina were buried, for the most part, 
in Hilton Head; the dead of Virginia are sleeping in Hamp- 
ton, while those of North Carolina repose in Washington, 
N. C, and in Newbern, the number there (41) being greater 
than in any other one place and exceeding that of any other 
regiment, except the Twenty-seventh. Bodies at first buried 
in Roanoke Island and in other places were disinterred and 
carried to Newbern for reburial, save those at Washington. 
With one or two exceptions, the graves are in plats 8, 9 and 
10. The cemetery itself is on the National Cemetery road- 
way, 1^4 miles from the Post Office, and contains eight acres 
of land. The dead ar-e grouped by States, and two of the 
latter, Connecticut and New Jersey, have already erected 
monuments there to the memory of their sons. IMassachusetts 
has Appropriated a large sum of money for the purpose of 

GiLL]NroRE Medals. " 437 

similarly memorializing her loyal children. The names, se- 
cured through the inquiries of Charles G. Robinson (F) and 
the kindness of George E. James, superintendent of the ceme- 
tery, are given as sent and, presumably, as they appear on the 
headstones. In some cases they differ from the spelling as giv- 
en in the Roster. They appear in the order of burial rather 
than by company or alphabetically. Beginning with 1282, 
the tirst nine names are those of men killed at Newbern, 
]\rarch 14. '62, and are: J. Thomas. C; I. N. Vincent, B; F. 
Brown, F ; A. J. IMerritt, I ; C. Riley, I ; W. Bans, A ; C. Hed- 
ricks, F ; S. Lines, F ; W. Jones, F. The other names range from 
1321 to 1853, thus lacking two of the total ascribed to the regi- 
ment. Of the numbers, 1321 is that of an unknown Co. D 
man; other numbers with "unknown" added are: 1593, 
1738, 1811, B; No. 1343 is that of Sergt. Geo. N. Gammons, 
D; then follow: Charles Sears. — ; J. Moreland, K; John 
S. Oldham, B ; ^Martin Harmon. G : Chas. F. Moulton, D ; 
David C. Bumpus, B : La^^Tcnce Doyle, D ; T. Hayes, D ; 
Michael Killdarv, H ; Francis B. Jones, C : Harrv Currier, 
F ; Henry N. Trask, G ; J. W. Smith, B ; Wm. Canning, D ; 
C. N. Bates, A; Da\'id C. Daniel, D; John Lane, D; Wm. 
Sweeney, D ; 0. T. Thrasher, K ; G. H. Baxter, F ; Victor F. 
Ahrens, H; Richard W. Field, H; Francis Marmo, D; James 
H. Lee, D ; Daniel H. Shannahan. D. 


The effect of time on memories never had a better illus- 
tration than in the almost total effacement from all minds of 
Twenty-fourth survivors of facts concerning the awarding of 
medals for special bravery during the operations against 
Charleston. General Q. A. Gillmore, actuated by a desire 
to properly recognize the zeal and energ\' of the men who 
fought so valiantly under his direction, had a large number 
of bronze medals prepared by Ball, Black & Co. of New York 
for men whose names had been sent to him by the officers 
of the regiments interested. It is said that certain regiments 
declined furnishing names for the reason that it was 
unfair to thus discriminate, for all had been equally brave. If 
any list of all recipients was ever published anywhere, the 
same cannot be found now. When the medals came to the 
Twenty-fourth, the regiment was in the midst of the trying 
campaign against Richmond in the month of June, the 18th 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

day (vid. p. 319\ and their distribution was effected with 
no ceremony whatever, hence the lack of lasting impression. 
When, in these later days, an effort was made to find the 
names of the regimental recipients, very few could be found 
who had any recollection whatever of the matter. The result 
of the seeking, somewhat incomplete, is owing largely to the 
industry and perseverance of C. G. Robinson of Co. F, who 
wrote scores of letters and cards in his quest, and whatever 
credit is due for thus rescuing from oblivion the names of 
Gillmore medalists is his. The cut accompanying this para- 
graph is owed to the kindness of Capt. Dan. Eldredge, his- 
torian of the Third New Hampshire, and fully represents 
the face and reverse of the souvenir. It will be strange if 
this publication does not bring forth the missing names. The 
names secured are as follows : Co. A, Wm. Egan and Thos. 
C. Snell; Co. B, Charles Chesley; Co. C, Alex. M. Hayward; 
Co. D, Charles M. Parker; Co. E, Henry M. Stoddard; Co. F, 
George A. Higgins; Co. G, Alfred 0. Cobb and H. H. Man- 
ning; Co. I, Wm. J. O'Brien; Co. K, John Ryan and Bangs 
Taylor. Henry Scales of Co. E was offered a medal, but 
chose a furlough instead. Stranger still one of these choice 
souvenirs was sent for a man who, notwithstanding his Mor- 
ris Island prowess, had deserted. What a fall was there ! 



Army and Corps Relations. 439 


The different localities in which the Twenty-fourth served 
tended to involve its army and corps relations to an unusual 
degree. Some regiments, with full three years' service to 
their credit, came home with only one corps badge as a sou- 
venir of combat, but the Twenty-fourth survivors wear re- 
minders of no less than four corps organizations to which the 
regiment was more or less attached. It never served in the 
Army of the Potomac, but it was prominently connected with 
that of Bumside, the Army of the South, and with that of 
the James, the latter always co-operating with that of the 

Burnside Expedition. It has ever been a pleasant memory 
of the regiment that its first service was in the brigade of 
General J. G. Foster. When, early in May, '62, the reorgani- 
zation of Burnside 's forces took place, the Twenty-fourth 
became a member of the First or Foster's Division, Second 
Brigade, Col. T. G. Stevenson, and thus it continued until 
the organization of the Eighteenth Corps. 

Eighteenth Army Corps. The warrant for the existence of 
this corps bears date Dec. 24, 1862, General J. G. Foster com- 
manding, with Brig.-General H. W. Wessells at the head of 
the First Division and Col. T. G. Stevenson still commanding 
the Second Brigade, where the Twenty-fourth is found. The 
departure for the South did not change the relations of the 
regiment, though in the published records, the regiments 
thus transferred to South Carolina are borne as ''detached." 
Under General Hunter, the assignments were somewhat 
changed; thus early in 1863 the regiment is found in the 
Fourth Division, Second Brigade, though still under Wessells 
and Stevenson respectively. 

Tenth Army Corps. In the summer of '6^, the regiment 
is found in the Tenth Corps, First Division, General A. H. 
Terry, Third Brigade, General Stevenson. Though placed in 
actual service, the several regiments that went to the South 
State with Foster are still carried as "detached," and as late 
as Oct. 15, '63, General Gillmore is found complaining because 
they are thus reported, though an integral part of his force. 
Indeed, under a variety of corps, division and brigade com- 
manders, the Twenty-fourth remained with the Tenth Corps 
till near the end of 1864. 

Twenty-fourth Corps. In December, '64, went forth the 
edict that the white regiments of the Eighteenth and Tenth 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Corps should constitute the Twenty-fourth, and the colored 
bodies the Twenty -fifth Corps, the earlier named corps being 
consequently discontinued. In the new corps, our regiment 
was assigned to the First Division, General A. H. Terry, soon 
succeeded by General R. S. Foster, and the Third Brigade, 
Col. H. M. Plaisted. Thus placed the regiment remained till 
the disbanding of the corps, which took place August 1, 1865. 
Ninth Army Corps. Though the symbol of this corps is 
found in the regimental badge, yet the Twenty-fourth never 
had any real connection therewith. The fact that Burnside 
was so long connected with the corps and so many of the 
regiments that accompanied him to North Carolina were also 
members of the corps must be the reason that the anchor, 
naval cannon and shield are found in the emblazonry of the 
regiment, just a pardonable bit of sentiment. It is claimed 
that the corps-badge is really the symbol used orginally by 
the officers in the Burnside Expedition. 


Where an organization belonged to only one army corps, 
special badges for the regiment are seldom found, but when 
their relations were many, some special design became, if not 
necessary, at least desirable. Hence, the somewhat extended 
design which to the accustomed eye of the wearer is plain 
enough, but which to that of the novice needs some expla- 
nation. George A. Loring of Co. C was the designer of the 
badge and the manner in which the several corps badges have 

been merged is decidedly ingenious. An inspection of the 
several symbols outlined herewith will show what the founda- 
tion was. Thus the Eighteenth Corps wore a design some- 
times called a modified Greek cross or four clover-leaves united 
at their bases; that of the Tenth was a square fortification 

Regimental Band. 441 

with bastions at the several angles, significant perhaps of the 
siege work, so long the dnty of the Tenth in its earlier service ; 
the Ninth had the shield and naval accompaniments, a remind- 
er of Biirnside and his men in their Hatteras experience; 
the pendant heart was worn by the men of the Twenty-fonrth 
Corps. Above all of these figures is seen the rampant lion 
holding in his clasp a standard bearing the numerals "24." 
No one who ever saw the Old State House of Boston needs an 
introduction to the figure there displayed, and when it is 
learned that the same was for half a century and more the 
design borne on all occasions by the New England Guard, its 
significance on the badge of the New England Guard Regi- 
ment is apparent. 



Though Gilmore's aggregation of musicians was mustered 
out at the end of the regiment's first year, the Twenty-fourth 
was not long without instrumental music, since, as stated in 
earlier pages, owing to the generosity of Gilmore himself 
and other friends, funds were secured for the purchase of 
instruments, and enlisted men were found of musical capa- 
city to make of the new association one of the best in the 
service. For the most part they re-enlisted, were constant 
and reliable and formed one of the principal attractions in 
Boston when the regiment came home in 1866. The names 
of the members were acquired through the recollection of 
Atwood and Ingraham, members, but now separated by all 
the space intervening between Maine and Idaho. The first 
leader was Chief Musician George S. Stone. On his depart- 
ure, he was succeeded by Chief Musician John W. Lincoln, 

442 'I'wENTY-FOURTii Masi^aciiusetts Regiment. 

H. P. Meader. 
George H. Gardner. 

Tilon Robinson. 
H. L. Chamberlain and wife. 


Charles E. Pratt. 
James Dresser. 

who continued through. He was a piano-maker after the 
war, in Boston. The names of the members with their com- 
panies follow : Wm. French and Henry L. Chamberlain, 
A ; John H. Armstrong, B ; John W. Lincoln and George S. 
Stone, D ; Tilon Robinson, George H. Gardner, Thos. B. 
Holmes, Leander Hicks and Daniel McPherson, E ; James L. 
Carter and Oren Mildam, H ; Sewell S. Ingraham and Chas. 
E. Pratt, I ; Andrew J. Vining, James Dresser, James H. At- 
wood, Horace P. Meader and "Wm. A. Ackerman, K. The 
Drum-major, Ernest Meyer (C), was German born, had 
served in the army of his native land, was of most magnifi- 
cent figure, more than six feet in height and he fully real- 
ized the dignity of his position. Of him a competent ob- 
server remarked, "It would be difficult to find a more nearly 
perfect figure in the United States." 

Regimental Glee Club. General Officers. 443 


A sort of wheel within wheels was tlie Stevenson Glee Club, 
which on occasion could warble the sweetest vocal music. 
"Whatever may have been its specific appellation before, after 
the lamented death of General Stevenson, it chose to be known 
as the "Stevenson" Club, and perhaps no organization in the 
regiment afforded a greater amount of pleasure to those lis- 
tening than did these young men drawn from the ranks, again 
showing what the enlisted men of a New England regiment 
were capable of, and, more than this, the advantages found 
in the average northern community. If a party of officers 
wished to have dinner, supper or other convivial gathering, 
the Club was ready to help out: were there distinguished 
guests at headquarters, who so apt to serenade as these 
votaries of Orpheus? Their sweet strains are lingering yet 
in some memories. Their leader was Tilon Robinson; the 
pianist or accompanist, Chas. E. Pratt, a musical prodigj^; 
the other members were Chamberlain, Gardner, Hicks and 


First and last, the Twenty-fourth served under many gen- 
erals. For some there was felt the very highest degree of 
esteem, while now and then one was endured rather than loved. 
Possibly the faces shown in the accompanying group repre- 
sent those with whom the regiment was brought into closest 
contact, excepting of course its own loved Colonel, later Brig- 
adier General Thomas G. Stevenson. Colonel H. M. Plaisted 
of the 11th Maine was long in command of the brigade to 
which the regiment was attached, but no portrait of the Col- 
onel has been secured. 

Few names are mentioned more heartily by the veterans of 
the Twenty-fourth than that of General Burnside. The men 
rejoiced at every recognition of his merit and sorrowed at any 
apparent lack of appreciation of his efforts. Mentally at 
least, they followed him into his civil life, and as one of the 
United States senators from Rhode Island, as well as thrice 
Governor, they were sure that he was receiving no more than 
his deserts. To this day, no soldier who followed him in life 
fails to note the magnificent equestrian bronze of the great 
soldier when he passes through the city of Providence. Indi- 
ana born. May 23, 1824; West Point, 1847, he acquired affil- 
iation with Rhode Island through marriage and opened his 

444 Twenty-fourth ]\Iassachusetts Regiment. 

experience in the war by leading the First Rhode Island Mili- 
tia to the front and. leaving Providence, April 20, '61, was 
present at the First Bnll Rnn, and thenceforward w^as a con- 
spicuous figure in the prosecution of the war. He died sud- 
denly in his Bristol, R. I., home, Sept. 3, 1881. 

Next to that of Burnside, perhaps, John G. Foster sounds 
most pleasantly in the ears of men who served through the 
North State campaigns. A native of New Hampshire, May 
27, 1823, a graduate of West Point in 1846, he had been a 
soldier up to the beginning of the war. Indeed, the latter 
found him in Fort Moultrie, Charleston Harbor, and his suc- 
cessful transferral of the garrison to Fort Sumter won for 
him a brevet Major's commission in the regular army. He 
was with the intrepid Anderson during the assault on the lat- 
ter fortification and shared with him the bitterness of defeat. 
For uniform courtesy and gentleness of heart he had no supe- 
rior, and officers and men alike respected and loved him. The 
hardships of his many campaigns no doubt were responsible 
for his relatively early death, for he died in Nashua, N. H., 
Sept. 2, 1874. The old Granite State sent no better soldier 
into the service. 

Quincy Adams Gillmore bore in his Christian names a sug- 
gestion of iMassachusetts, though he was born in Black River, 
Ohio, Feb. 28, 1825. Graduating at the head of his West 
Point class, 1849, he was assigned to the Engineer Corps, 
there developing the skill which was utilized subsequently in 
the reduction of Fort Pulaski and in the siege of Charleston. 
Quiet, reserved and wholly lacking in spectacular character- 
istics. General Gillmore nevertheless impressed all who came 
near him with the extent and reliableness of his resources. 
After the war. he continued to plan and execute engineering 
operations and to publish works dealing with that subject. 
He died at his Brooklyn, N. Y., residence, April 7, 1888. A 
biographer says of him : ' ' He made himself the first artiller- 
ist of the war, and if not the first engineer, he w^as second to 
none. He was to the New World what Todleben was to the 

Alfred H. Terry, long associated with the Tenth Corps" 
either as division or corps commander, was born in Hartford, 
Conn., Nov. 10, 1827. His education was with reference to 
law^ rather than war, and the Rebellion found him a practic- 
ing law^yer with a fondness for amateur arms, since he was 
then in command of the Second Regiment of militia. With this 

Reguiental Officers. 


Maj.-Gen. Q. A. Gillmore. 
Bvt. Maj.-Gen. R. S. Foster. 

Miij.-Gen. A. E. Hurnside. 
Maj.-Gen. J. G. Foster. 

Maj.-Gen. A.H. Terry. 

orgranization he was present at the First Bull Run. Later as 
Colonel of the Seventh Conn, he found his way into the De- 
partment of the South, where he served for the most part 
save in the earlier campaign of '64. Undoubtedly his great- 
est claim to lasting fame rests on his masterly assault on Fort 
Fisher and the effectual reduction of the same. As a resolute, 
resourceful and generally capable officer, he made a lasting 
impression on every follower, whether in the ranks or wearing 
shoulder straps. His service secured for him recognition in 
the regular army and there he remained until his retirement 
in April, 1888. 'He died in New Haven, Conn., Dec. 16, 1890, 
having been in ill health for several years. 

As brigade and division commander when in the Tenth 
Corps, the survivors of the Twenty-fourth have vivid recol- 
lection of General Robert Sandford Foster. They had early 
become accustomed to his family name and were ready to like 
him for old time's sake, but service wdth him soon showed 

446 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

them that he was likable for qualities of his own. Born in 
Vernon, Indiana, Jan. 27, 1834, after receiving the advan- 
tages of the public schools, he entered, in his teens, upon a 
mercantile life in Indianapolis. Meanwhile he found recrea- 
tion in the militia of his native State, thereby receiving in- 
struction which served him well when the war began. En- 
listing April 14, '61, he went to the front as Captain of Co. 
A, 11th Indiana. His promotion thence was rapid, becoming 
Colonel of the 13th Regiment in May, '62. His service was 
entirely in the East and was always of the most strenuous 
character. As General Terry's Chief of Staff, he was intro- 
duced to our regiment and his association with the Tenth 
Corps is a matter of record thenceforward. In the windup 
of '65, he commanded a division of the Twenty-fourth Corps 
and was among the most prominent at the surrender. It is 
said of him that he never lost a battle nor a skirmish. After 
the war he was one of the Military Commission for the trial 
of the conspirators and assassins of President Lincoln. 
Though proffered a Lieutenant-colonelcy in the regular army, 
he preferred to return to civil life and was soon found in his 
native Indiana, where one of his earliest actions was to bear 
a prominent part in the organization of the Grand Army of 
the Republic. He was the first to perform the duties of Com- 
mander-in-chief of the order, and was the first Department 
Commander of Indiana. He organized Post No. 1 of his own 
State, and never flagged in his devotion to the good of the 
organization. There can be no question that to him as much 
as to Major B. F. Stephenson is due the successful existence 
of the G. A. R. His civil life was filled with honors, having 
been an alderman, city treasurer, and president of the Board 
of Trade in Indianapolis and U. S. Marshal for Indiana. At 
the time of his death, March 3, 1903, he was Quartermaster- 
general of the National Guard of Indiana. 


Twenty -fourth Club. — When the Twenty-fourth was in 
Florida, the original commissioned officers of the regiment 
formed an organization with the foregoing title. Till the war 
ended there was little opportunity for regular meetings, yet 
its very name was a source of pleasure. After the return of 
the regiment there was an annual gathering at some central 
point, where, over the fragrant repast, greetings were 

They Still Live. 447 

exchanged and old times discussed. Year after year the num- 
bers have been reduced till now only twelve remain eligible to 
sit at the feast. The Club took the initiative towards placing 
the memorial of General Stevenson in the State House. 

Twenty -fourth Regiment Association. — Soon after the regi- 
ment returned, the idea was advanced that the "boys" ought 
to meet at least once a year, and some of the companies had 
their own special run-togethers, a practice kept up to this day. 
The organization for the regiment was effected before the 
great Boston fire of 1872, and the records then in existence 
disappeared in the conflagration. The fires of memory, how- 
ever, have continued burning ever since, and annually, on 
Jan. 20, the date of the muster-out, in some one of the Boston 
hotels, the '/old boys," every year older and whiter grown, 
assemble, eat a good dinner, fight over again the battles of '61- 
'65, drink a cup to the memory of departed comrades, and sep- 
arate for one more year in the battle of life. Occasionally a 
comrade appearswho has crossed half a continent to be present, 
and the reception accorded is worth all the pains it cost. For 
many years the Secretary has been Comrade John C. Cook of 
Company C, and the present President is Capt. Wm. F. 
Wiley, Company K. 


Though their mortality long since moldered back to its 
kindred dust, the names of two of the regiment's dead will 
live for years to come in the appellations of two Grand Army 
Posts — 

Thomas G. Stevenson Post 26 of Roxhury recalls that ad- 
mirable officer and his lamentable death at the beginning of 
the closing campaign, which ended all hopes of the Confed- 

James A. Perkins Post 156 of Everett brings to mind the 
terrible scenes in front of grim Fort "Wagner and the form 
of the young Lieutenant, brave to rashness, presenting always 
his face to the foe. 

448 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


The foundation of the Roster is material preserved in the 
State House. There, all names are given alphabetically, 
without reference to company or rank. To present the list 
as found on the following pages it was necessary to 
rearrange the names by companies and in the cases of coiar 
missioned officers to place their names with their respective 
organizations. To do this necessitated the examination of 
every accessible document bearing on the subject. It is 
hoped that the result is measurably correct. To arrange all 
the captains in one group, and first and second lieutenants 
respectively in a similar manner is far from satisfactory. 
iPossibly the surviving veteran could reach in and select 
his own officers, but seemingly it is much better for officers 
and men to go together in printed history as they marched 
when their history was actually made. 

The Roster aims to give the name, age, occupation, resi- 
dence and date of enlistment of every man in the regiment, 
together with such incidental data as his service may have 
won, together with date of his death, desertion or discharge 
for whatever cause. 

Thus: Smith, John, 18 years old; farmer, Salem; enlisted 
September 18, 1861; wounded March 14, Newbern; re-en- 
listed January 4, 1864; promoted Coporal April 2, 1864; dis- 
charged October 15, 1864, disability. 

For the sake of brevity, the following abbreviations are 
used: A. A. G.= Assistant Adjutant General; b.=buried; 
bvt.=brevet ; com.=commissiou ; Corp.=Corporal ; cr.=cred- 
ited; d.=died; desert.^deserted ; dis.=discharged ; disa.= 
disability; en.=enlisted ; ex. of s.=expiration of service; 
G. 0. W. D.^General Order War Department; k.=killed; 
M. out; Mus.=Musician ; N. E. G.=New 
England Guard ; N. F. R.=no further record ; N. S. H.= 
National Soldiers' Home; 0. W. D.^Order War Depart- 
ment; prom.=promoted ; [R] ^Recruit; re.=^re-enlisted ; 
res.=resigned ; Sergt.^Sergeant ; S. H.^^Soldiers' Home in 
Chelsea ; V. R. C.= Veteran Reserve Corps ; wd.=wounded. 

Keolmextal Roster. 


"Aye, bring back the lianners and fold them in rest I 
They have wrought their high mission, their holy behest! 
Stained with blood, scorched with flame, lianging tattered and 

Yet dearer, by far, than when bright, they were borne 
By brave hearts to glory ! ' ' 



450 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

In the war period, there were 33!) cities and towns in Massacliusetts ; 
of these 210 were represented in the Twenty-fourth Regiment. 

Field and Staff. 

Thomas G. Stevenson, 25 ; Boston ; Aug. 31, 1861 ; Brig-gen., 
Dec. 26, '62; k. Spottsylvania C. H., Va., May 10, '64, 
commanding 1st Div. 9th Army Corps; b. Mt. Auburn. 

Francis A. Osborn, Dec. 28, '62; M. 0. Nov. 14, '64, ex. of 
s. ; Brev. Brig-gen. Mar. 13, '65. In civil life General 
Osborn was Tv^aval Officer, port of Boston, Mar. 19, '67 — 
June 8, '69 ; in City Council, Boston, '67, '68, '69 ; Chair- 
man, Massachusetts Civil Service Commission, three 
years from June 23, '86 ; declined reappointment. He 
was the first Commander of the Massachusetts Com- 
mandery, Loj^al Legion, and the second Commander, 
Massachusetts Department Grand Army of the Republic. 

Charles H. Hooper, Nov. 15, '64; M. 0. Mar. 18, '65, as 
Lieut.-colonel ; d. June 25, 1899, Boston. Colonel Hoop- 
er saw no more active service ; he was confined at first in 
Libby Prison, thence was taken to Danville, Va., and 
finally to Salisbury N. C. At last he was returned to 
Richmond and as above to liberty. With Gen. Joseph 
Hayes, also of Massachusetts, he took charge of the 
receiving and distributing of supplies from the Federal 
Government, Major M. P. Turner's permit bearing 
date Feb. 3, 1865. His sword, an elegant weapon, was 
not restored to Colonel Hooper till Aug. 19, 1892, and 
even then was recovered at some outlay on his part, the 
southern possessor considering it after the nature of an 
entrance to a gold mine. 

Albert Ordway, May 7, '65; M. 0. Feb. 10, '66, as Lieut.- 
colonel, ex. of s. ; Brev. Brig.-gen., Mar. 13, '65; d. 
Nov. 21, 1897. After the war, settled and married in 
Richmond; a member of Council and Board of Aldermen; 
candidate for Congress, and defeated ; later in Washing- 
ton, active in National Guard; by President Cleveland 
made a Brigadier in command of all of the forces in the 
district ; he brought them to a high degree of efficiency. 

Field and Staff. 


452 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


Francis A. Osborii, 27; Boston; Aug. 31, 1861; prom. 

Eobert H. Stevenson, Dec. 28, '62 ; res. May 31, '64 ; Brev. 
Colonel and Brig. -gen., Mar 13, '65. 

Charles H. Hooper, June 1, '64; captured July 24, '64, Deep 
Bottom, Va. ; paroled Feb. 22, 1865. 

Albert Ordway, Nov. 15, '64 ; prom. Colonel. 

Thomas F. Edmands, May 7, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, as 
Major; Brev. Colonel, Mar. 13, '65; d. Aug. 30, 1906; 
b. Mt. Auburn. For thirty-three years Colonel Ed- 
mands commanded the First Corps of Cadets, Boston's 
crack military organization, having resigned his posi- 
tion hardly more than a month before his death. 


Robert H. Stevenson, 23 ; Boston ; Sept. 2, 1861 ; wd. Mar. 14, 
'62, Newbern, N. C. ; prom. Lieut. -colonel. 

Charles H. Hooper (E), Dec. 28, '62; prom. Lieut-colonel. 

Edward C. Richardson (G), June 1, '64; dis. Sept. 23, '64, 
disa. After the strife was over, forming a business part- 
nership with his First Lieutenant, J. M. Barnard, he con- 
tinued in business in Savannah, Ga., for thirty-five years. 
Now, retired, he resides in Boston. 

Albert Ordway (I), Sept. 24, '64; prom. Lieut.-colonel. 

Thomas F. Edmands (G), Nov. 15, '64; prom. Lieut.-colonel. 

Davis Foster (D), May 7, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, as Capt.; 
Brev. Major, U. S. Vols., Mar. 13, '65; cl. Savannah, Ga., 
Sept. 21, 1876. The stay of the Twenty-fourth in St. 
Augustine resulted in the marriage of Major Foster to 
]\Iiss Dolores Sanches, descended from one of the old 
Spanish families; firing of a planter's life he became a 
merchant in Savannah, dying there early in life, the 
result of wounds received in the service. His son, J. C. 
R. Foster, is now Adjutant-general of the State of Flori- 
da, an elective office. 


John F. Anderson, 28; Boston; Sept. 2, 1861; dis. June 7. 
'63; commissioned, June 9, '63, Major and A. D. C, 
serving on staffs of Generals Burnside and Foster 

Field and Staff. 453 

respectively ; Brev. Lieut.-col. U. S. Vols., Mar. 1, '65 ; 

Brev. Colonel aud Brig.-gen., Mar. 13, '65; res. March 

27, '65 ; d. April 19, 1902, Portland, Me. 
Wm. L. Horton (I). Dec. '62; wd. Mar. 14, '62, Newbern; 

vid. Company A. 
Albert Ordwav (G), after Battle of Newbern. 
Charles Q. Ward (11), March— May, '63. 
James M. Barnard (G). June, '63 — Sept. '63. 
Thomas F. Edmands (K), Oct. '63, one month. 
Charles G. Ward, Nov. '63; k. May 16, '64. Drewry's Bluff, 

Thomas F. Edmands, May — July, '64. 
Thomas M. Sweet (I), July 21. '64; declined promotion to 

Captain ; M. 0. Nov. 12, '64 ; ex. of s. ; d. June 9, '73 ; 

b. Mt. Auburn. 
Benjamin F. Stoddard (F), Nov. 25, '64— June 21, '65; 

Captain and Acting Adjutant to Aug. '65. 
Augustus D. Ayling (C). Aug. '65; M 0. Jan. 20, '66. From 

July, '79, to December. '06, Adjutant-general of the 
'State of New Hampshire. General Ayling was the com- 
piler of the famous and almost incomparable register of 

New Hampshire troops in the War of the Rebellion. 

Retired, he now resides in Centreville, Mass. 


William V. Hutchings, 34; Gloucester; Sept. 2, 1861; 
appointed Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. Vols., Nov. 
22, '62; dis. from the Twenty-fourth. April 16, '63, 
G. 0. W. D; res. May 29, '65; d. Auburndale, Mass., 
July 26, 1888. Resuming the insurance business. Major 
Hutchings found time to serve upon the military staff 
of Governor A. H. Rice, and to pass through the several 
offices of the Loyal Legion. 

James Thompson, acting Quartermaster, till his appointment, 
Nov. 27, '62; M. 0. Jan. 12, '65. Since 1871 Captain 
Thompson has been emploj^ed in the U. S. Custom House, 

James N. North, 24; Chelsea; Feb. 15, '65; res. Oct. 7, '65; 
had served as private, Co. B, 1st Mass. Infantry, 2d 
Lieut. 35th U. S. Col. Troops, 1st Lieut, and Adjutant 
1st U. S. Col. Cav. 

Eben H. Dadd (G), Oct. 18, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 

454 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 


Samuel A. Green, 31 ; Boston ; Sept. 2, 1861 ; M. 0. Nov. 3, 
'64, ex. of s. as Major; Brev. Lieut.-colonel, U. S. Vols. 
Mar. 13, '65 ; had served as 1st Lieut, and Assistant Sur- 
geon, 1st Mass. Infantry, May 25— Sept. 2, '61. Dr. 
Green's life has been filled with good works, whether 
as city physician, overseer of Harvard University, trus- 
tee of the Peabody fund, member of Boston's school 
board, trustee of the Public Library, Mayor of Boston 
1882, vice-president and librarian of the Massachusetts 
Historical Society, or historian of his native town, 
Groton, he has never faltered a moment. Above all, he 
loves his old comrades-in-arms. 

Edward R. Wheeler, Nov. 10, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, as 
Major; d. April 30, 1904. 

assistant surgeons. 

Hall Curtis, 28 ; Boston ; Sept. 2, '61 ; prom. Surgeon and 
Major, 2d Mass. H. A., June 18, '63; d. June 1, 1906, 
Beverly Farms. 

Charles E. Briggs, Boston, Aug. 13, '62 ; prom. Surgeon and 
Major, 54th Mass. Infantry, Nov. 24, '63 ; d. in Boston, 
June 18, 1894. 

William S. Tremain, Boston ; Aug. 7, '63 ; prom. Surgeon and 
Major, 31st U. S. Col. Troops, April 12, '64; later Medi- 
cal Officer in Regular Army; d. Jan. 9, 1898, Buffalo, 
N. Y. 

Edward R. Wheeler, 26 ; Spencer ; Maj' 15, '64 ; prom, sur- 

John W. Parsons, 24; Boston; April 8, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, 


William R. G. Mellen, 40; Gloucester; Sept. 2, '61; res. Jan. 
10, '63 ; d. Dec. 30, '95, Yonkers, N. Y. 

Edmund B. Willson. Salem; Dec. 7, '63; res. Julv 6, '64; 
d. 1895. 

Field and Staff. • 455 

nox - commission ed s t a ff . 

sergeant-majors . 

Frank W. Lorintr. 2-i; Boston; Sept. 2. '61 ; dis. Aug. 18, '62, 
to become 1st Lieut, and Adjutant, 38th ^Nlass. Infan- 
try; Brev. Captain and Major. Mar. 13. '65; d. Oct. 29, 
1905. !Meran, Austria. With ]Major Loring the business 
of a broker was obliged to yield to his love of art. Hav- 
ing married Miss Caroline P. CareAV in England he made 
his home in Florence, Italy. 

AA^illiam T. Jones (E). Aug. "9. '62— Aug. 14. '63; dis. for 
Com. 2d ^lass.. H. A.; later 1st Lieut, in same. 

John T. Wilson (E), Aug. 15. '63— Jan. 21, '64; prom. 2d 
Lieut., Co. E. 

William C. Severson (I). Jan., '64; dis. April 12, '64, for 

Robert Carruthers (G). Julv 1— Oct. 14, '61: prom. 1st 
Lieut, and Captain, Co. H. 

Frederick W. Wilson (C). Nov. 4. '64— Sept. 5, '65; absent 

Henry S. Worrall (B), Sept. 1, '65— M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; prom. 
1st Lieut. Jan. 20, '66. 


James Thompson, 23 ; Boston ; Sept. 2, '61 ; prom. 1st Lieut, 
and Quartermaster. Nov. 27. '62. 

Frank H. Nichols (C). May 1. '63; M. 0. Dec. 4, '64, ex. 
of s. 

Eben H. Dadd (II). Dec. 5, '64; prom. 1st Lieut. Quarter- 
master Aug. 18, '65. 

John Lowther (A), Sept. 2. '65: prom. 1st Lieut. Jan. 20, 
'66; not mustered; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66- d. Dec. 7, '68; b. 
Mt. Auburn. 


Parmeuas E. Wheeler, 27 ; ; Sept. 2, '61 ; prom. 2d 

Lieut. (I) Aug. 1, '62. 

John Ellis (H). Aug., '62; M. 0. Sept. 2, '64. ex. of s. 

Eben H. Dadd (H), Sept. 1, '64; transferred to Q. :\I. De- 
partment Dec. 5, '64. 

Elbridge Howe (I), Dec. 6, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; prom. 
1st Lieut. Jan. 20. '66; not mustered. 

456 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment, 

hospital-stewards . 

John H. McGregor, 28 ; Boston ; Sept. 2, '61 ; prom. Assistant 
Surgeon. 12th Mass. Infantry, Aug. 14, '62. 

Benjamin H. Mann (H), Aug. is, '62; M. 0. Sept. 4, '64, 
ex. of s. 

Samuel H. Dunster (K), Sept. 4, '64; M. O. Jan. 20, '66. 


Daniel McPherson (E). ^l{\y 1. '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; d. ; 

found also as David. 
George S. Stone (D), Jan. 1. '64; deserted Sept. 7, '65. 
John W. Lincoln (C), Sept. 9, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 

Regimental Band (Gilmore's). 

Gilmore, Patrick S., Leader, 31 ; Boston ; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. 

Aug. 30, '62, by the General Order No. 78, doing away 

with regimental bands; d. St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 24, 1892. 
Arbuckle, Matthew, 33; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; dis. October 

3, '62. 
Blake, Henry N., 32; Chelsea; Sept. .16. '61; dis. Oct. 3, '62. 
Cundy, William H., 29; Boston; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. Oct. 3, '62. 
De La Fontaine, Charles, 36; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; dis. 

Oct. 3, '62. 
Ford, Frederick F., 26; Boston; Sept. 26, '61; dis. Oct. 3, 

Frederick, Louis, 50 ; Boston ; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. Oct 3. '62. 
Fuller, Frank B., 23; Deerfield; Sept. 16, '61; dis. Oct. 3. 

Heise, August, 36; Providence, R. I.; Sept. 16, '61; dis. Oct. 

3, '62. 
Higgins, Cornelius, 23 ; Boston ; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. Oct. 3, '62. 
Kammerling, Alwen, 17; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; dis. Oct. 3, 

Kammerling, August, 39 ; Boston ; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. Oct. 3, 

Kammerling, Herman A., 19 ; Boston ; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. Oct. 

3, '62. 
Kelly, Frank M., 40; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; dis. Oct 3, '62. 
Knowlton, Charles W., 27; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; dis. Oct. 

3, '62. 

Company A. 457 

Mille, Edward, 32; Charlestown; Sept. 16, '61; dis. Oct. 3, 

Morehouse. Isaac H., 22; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; d. Mav 19, 

'62, Newbern, N. C. 
Nichols, William C. 33; Salem; Sept. 16. '61; dis. Oct. 10, 

Payson, Thomas K., 28; Boston; Sept. 13. '61; dis. Oct 10, 

Simpson. Henry D.. 24; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; dis. Oct. 3, 

Stanley, Abram J.. 33; Salem; Sept. 16. '61; dis. Oct. 10, '62. 
Steinman^ J. Henry, 38 ; Boston ; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. Oct. 3, 

Whittemore, Stephen G., 34; Providence, R. I., Sept. 16, '61; 

dis. Oct. 10, '62; later in band, Coi^ps d'Afrique, 

U. S. A. ; d. 
Zimmerman, John A., 40 ; Charlestown ; Sept. 16, '61 ; dis. 

Oct. 10, '62. 
Zohler, Ferdinand, 35 : Boston -, Sept. 16. '61 ; dis. Oct. 3, '62. 

Company A. 

After the absorption of the Thirty-fourth and Fortieth Regiments, 
June, '65, and the assignment of ninety men to A, those already belong- 
ing were transferred to K and there served to their muster-out. 


William F. Redding, 33 ; weigher ; East Boston, Sept. 2, '61 ; 
wd. June 5, '62 ; M. 0. Sept. 22, '64, ex. of s. ; d. Spring 
Valley, N. Y., Mar. 7, 1876. 

Alexander M. Hayward, Sept. 24, '64 ; res. May 15, '65, disa. ; 
d. May 14, '97; Charlestown. In the U. S. postal ser- 
vice from 1865 to his death ; for many years had charge 
of the foreign branch. "He was brave, considerate, and 
kind to everybody, ' ' words of Capt. G. W. Nichols. 

George B. Macomber, original 1st Lieut. Co. E, 34th Mass. 
Infantry, joining from Oakham, transferred with others 
to the 24th, June 16, '65 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ■ 2d Lieut. 
14th U. S. Infantry, May 11, '66; trans, to the 32d 
U. S. Sept 21, '66; 1st Lieut. Jan. 14, '67; trans. 21st 
U. S. Int'antrv, April 19, '69; d. Sept. 19. '69. 

458 TwENTY-FoiMiTH ^NFassachusetts Regiment. 


James H. Turner, 25 ; tradesman. Medford ; Sept. 2, '61 ; res. 

July 31, '62. 
William L. Horton (I), Aug. 1, '62; dis. Mar. 12, '64. disa. 

from wounds; d. Nov. 23, 1884; b. Mt. Auburn. 
Charles T. Perkins (C), Mar. 13, '64; res. June 10, '64; d. 

Dec. 6. '87, Danvers. 
Alexander M. Hayward (B), June 11, '64; wd. Aug. 16, 

'64, Deep Run ; prom. Captain. 
Andrew Wilson (E), Oct. 15. '64; trans. Co. K, June 16, 

'65, and prom. Captain. 
Joseph W. Hobbs (D), Aug. 18, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
John Lowther, Jan. 20, ^66 ; not mustered. 


Horatio D. Jarves, 25 ; Boston ; Sept. 2, '61 ; w^d. June 5, 
'62, Tranter's Ck., N. C. ; dis. Jan. 1, '64, for Com. as 
Major, 56th Mass. Infantrv ; later Lieut.-colonel in the 
same; d. April 16. 1883. Togus. Me., N. S. H. 

George W. Nichols (H). Jan. 8, '64; wd. May 16, '64, 
Drewry's Blutf; prom. 1st Lieut.; trans, to Co. C. 

Edward H. Davenport, Jan. 20, '66 ; not mustered. 


Adams, Isaiah M., 22 ; farmer. East Bridgewater ; Oct. 4, 

'61; dis. Sept. 22, '63, disa. 
Adams, Watson F., 19 ; laborer. East Bridgewater ; Oct. 16, 

'61 ; dis. Oct. 16, '64, ex. of s. 
Allen, Jesse H., 42 ; mariner, Sandwich ; Oct. 4, '61 ; M. 0. 

Sept. 2. '64, ex. of s. 
Austin, Alexander R., 38; laborer. South • Boston ; Aug. 6, 

'62 ; re. Dec. 21, '63 ; M. O. Jan. 20. '66, as Corp. 
Baker. Charles (Corp.). 26; tinsmith. East Boston; Sept. 

12, '61; w^d. Mar. 14, '62, Newbern. N. C. ; dis. Sept. 

2, '62, disa. 
Baker, Erastus, 20; driver, Barnstable; Oct. 17, '61; dis. 

Oct. 17, '64, ex. of s. 
Bans, William, 18 ; ropemaker. Roxburv ; Oct. 14. '61 ; k. 

Mar. 14, '62, Newbern, N. C. 

Company A. 


CaiJt. J. L. Stackpole (I). 
Lieut. J. B. Nichols (H). 

Lii'iit. .1. A. IVrkins i 1 1. 
Lieut. H. D. Jarves (.A). 

( ai.t. \V. K. Redding (A). 
I'apt. John Daland (H). 

Barnes, Albert F. (R), 24; shoemaker, Cohasset; Aug. 14, 

'62; wd. May 16, '64. Drewry's Bluff, Va. ; M. 0. Dec. 

4, '64, ex. of s. 
Barrett, Lewis F. (Corp.), 19; clerk. Boston; Sept. 25, '61; 

trans, to 28th Mass. Infantry, Nov. 15, '61. 
Barrows, Henry J. (R), 31; jeweler, Foxboro; Aug. 13, '62; 

d. Oct. 6, '62, Newbern. 
Bates, Caleb N., 44; mason, Boston; Nov. 30, '61; d. May 6, 

'62, Newbern. 
Beal, William H. (R), 22; farmer, Cohasset: Feb. 24, '64; 

d. Dec. 20, '65 ; had served in Co. K, 1st ]Mass. Infan- 

trj^; wd. at Gettysburg July 2, '63; also Beals. 
Berwin, Henry, 20 ; clerk, Swampscott ; Sept. 28, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 21, '63; de.sert. Sept. 22, '65, Co. K. 

460 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Bidwell, William P. (R), 34; laborer, Boston; Aug. 4, '62; 

M. 0. Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Bond, James, 21; polisher, Boston; Oct. 17, '61; dis. Oct. 

17, '64, ex. of s. 
Bond, Robert, 26 ; boatman, Boston ; Sept. 23, '61 ; re. Dec. 

21, '63 ; d. of wounds, Sept. 2, '64, Ft. IMonroe, Va. 
Bowers, Patrick (R), 32; laborer, Sudbury; Aug. 2, '62; dis. 

Mar. 26, '63, disa. 
Bowers, William J., 26; mason, Cambridge; Sept. 9, '64; wd. 

May 16, '64, Drewry's Bluff: M. 0. Sept. 9, '64, ex. of s. 
Burke, David, 30 ; laborer, Boston ; Sept. 28, '61 ; dis. May 

5, '63, disa. ; dead. 
Callahan, Cornelius, 28; laborer. West Roxbury; Sept. 22, 

'61; re. Dec. 21, '63; wd. Oct. 14, '64, Darbytown Rd., 

Va. ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Campbell, Patrick, 37; laborer, Boston; Sept. 22, '61; dis- 
honorably dis. Feb. 10, '65, by sentence. General Court 

Carney, Thomas, 28; bootmaker, Boston; N. F. R. 
Chamberlain, George F. (R), 18; farmer, Blackstone; Mar. 

14, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Chamberlain, Henry L. (Sergt.), 24; clerk, Boston; Sept. 

27, '61; re. Dec. 21, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; had served 

in Co. I, 1st Mass. Infantry, May 24 to Sept. 2, '61 ; d. 

June 13, 1899, Chelsea S. H. 
Chamberlain, Nahum B. (R), 21; farmer, Lexington; Aug. 

9, '62 ; re. Dec. 21, '63 ; dis. May 20, '65, disa. ; d. Jan. 

11, 1905, Jamaica Plain. 
Charleton, Edward (R), 21; glassmaker, Saugus; Aug. 2, 

'62 ; re. cr. to Roxburv, Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, 

Co. K. 
Charleton, James (R), 25; farmer, Saugus; Aug. 2, '62; re. 

Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Clark, Edward, 23; mechanic. Palmer; Sept. 9, '61; M. 0. 

Sept. 9, '64, ex. of s. 
Cole, Daniel (R), 44; shipper, Boston; Aug. 6, '62; dis. Oct. 

3, '62, disa. 
Corliss, Harvev J., 27 ; farmer. East Boston ; Sept. 14, '61 ; 

re. Dec. 21, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Coughlan, Martin A., 26; miller, Boston; Oct. 15, '61; 

M. 0. Oct. 15, '64, as Corp., ex. of s. ; d. Dec. 16, '97, 

Chelsea, S. H. 

Company A. 461 

Crawford, John, 35 ; spinner, Blackstone ; Nov. 8, '61 ; dis. 

Sept. 2. '62. disa.; d. Mar. 8, 1881, Davton, Ohio, N. 

S. H. 
Cummings, Alonzo, 19; barber, Worcester; Sept. 7, '61; dis. 

July 22, '63, disa. 
Devins, Richard, 26 ; mariner, Boston ; Sept. 23, '61 ; re. Dec. 

21, '63; desert. Mar. 20, '64. 
Dingley, Charles B., 40; farmer, Stoughton ; Sept. 13, '61; 

dis. June 3, '64, disa. 
Dixon, John J., 27; spinner, Woonsocket, R. I. (cr. to Bos- 
ton), Oct. 17, '61; re. Dec. 21, '63; Corp. Oct. 17, '65; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Doland, Lerov, 21; mechanic. Palmer; Oct. 2, '61; k. 

June 5, '62, Tranter's Creek, N. C. 
Downs, William, 37 ; boot-treer, Boston ; Sept. 7, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20. '66. Co. K. 
Eddy, Lorenzo D.. 24; bootmaker, Randolph; Sept. 17, '61; 

re. Dec. 21, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; Co. K; d. Nov. 29, 

'99, Togus, Me., N. S. H. 
Egan, Michael, 37'; farmer, Moreton, Vt. ; Nov. 11, '61; re. 

cr. to Boston, Dec. 21, '63; M. 0. Corp. Jan. 20, '66, 

Co. K. 
Eg-an, William, 24; stonecutter. C^uincy; Sept. 17, '61; M. O. 

Sept. 17, '64; ex. of s. 
Ewer, Benjamin, 38; mariner. Sandwich; Oct. 4, '61; M. 0. 

Oct. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Farren, James, 21 ; mechanic, Boston ; Sept. 22, '61 ; desert. 

Dec. 8, '61. 
Farrington, Daniel, 33 ; coatmaker. West Newbury, Sept. 6, 

'61 ; desert. Dec. 8, '61. 
Finnegan, Michael, 24; machinist, Boston; Sept. 17, '61; re. 

Sergt. Dec. 21, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Fish. John F., 21; mariner, Sandwich; Oct. 14, '61; d. Oct. 

5, '62, Sandwich, Mass. 
Flagg, Charles H. (R), 21; shoemaker, Lexington; Aug. 12, 

'62; re. Dec. 21, '63; dis. July 2, '65, disa., Co. K; d. 

Feb. 25, 1907, Leominster. 
Foley, John W., 23 ; mechanic, Palmer ; Sept. 10, '61 ; M. 0. 

Sept. 10, '64, ex. of s. 
French, William, 31; teamster, Boston; Oct. 2, '61; dis. June 

29, '63, disa. 
French, William H. (R), 26; shoemaker, Boston; Aug. 11, 

62; re. Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 

462 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Fuller. Fraiif^is D., 24; farmer, Palmer; Sept. 9, '61; dis. 

Sept. 11, '62, disa. ; later served in Co. E, 57th Mass. 

Gibbons, Thomas (R), 30; laborer. Sau»us; Mar. 21. '64; 

Corp. Nov. ]. '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '6Q, Co. K. 
Gibson, James. 38 ; farmer, Boston ; Sept. 10, '61 ; drowned; 

May 10. '62, Washington, N. C. 
Gillen, John C, 32; carpenter, Boston; Sept. 12. '61; wd. 

Aug. 16, '64, Deep Rnn; dis. Sept., '64, ex. of s. 
Goldsmith. Wm. R. (R), 26; hat-presser, Foxboro ; Aug. 13, 

'62 ; dis. Dec. 5, '64, ex. of s. ; d. 1903. 
Green, John A. (Corp.). 28; painter. East Boston; Sept. 19, 

'61 ; re. Sergt, Dec. 21. '63 ; prom. 1st Lient. Co. E. 
Guptill, John A. (wagoner), 38; stonecutter, Boston; Sept. 

4, '61; re. Dec. 21. '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Hanson, John A., 30; carpenter, Boston; Sept. 20, '61; re. 

cr. to Quincy ; Dec. 21^ '63 ; desert. Mar. 20, '64. 
Harney, John A.. 22; butcher, Boston; Oct. 7, '61, 1st Sergt.; 

re. Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Hassin, Timothv (Hassion), 25; hatter, Amesburv; Nov. 9, 

'61; re. Dee. 26, '63; wd. Aug. 16. '64, Deep Run; M. 0. 
Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Hendricks, Cornelius, 21; ropemaker, Roxburv; Sept. 19, 

'61 ; k. Mar. 14, '62, Newbern. 
Hendricks, David, 25; ropemaker, Roxburv; Dec. 2, '61; 

wd. May 16, '64, Drewry's Bluff; dis. Dec. 2, '64, ex. 

of s. ; d. May 19, 1903, Roslindale. 
Henry, Harrison (R), 28; shoemaker, Cohasset ; re. Dec. 26, 

'63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Hill, George, 18; jeweler, Newton; Oct. 24, '61,; re. Dec. 21, 

'63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, as Sergt. Co. K ; Com. 2d Lieut. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Howard. John F. (R), 18; shoemaker, Beverlv; cr. to 

Bridgewater ; Nov. 10, '64 ; I\r. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Howley, John, 18 ; bootmaker, Quincy ; Nov. 14, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 21, '63 ; dis. Jan. 10, '65, disa. ; dead. 
Ingalls, Walter, 38; gardener, Dedham; Oct. 11, '61; dis. 

Sept. 2, '62, disa. 
Jones, Charles 11., 23 ; farmer. Boston ; Oct. 8, '61 ; re. Dec. 

21, '63; Corp. June 13, '63; Sergt. Jan. 1, '64; wd. Oct. 

7, '64 ; dis. Jan. 20, '66, Co. B. 
Knodell, Alexander, 19; printer, St. John, New Brunswick; 

Sept. 13, '61 ; cr. to Roxbury ; desert. Mar. 20, '64. 

COiMPANY A. 463 

Knodell, Robert (R), 25; carpentei-. St. John. N. B. -. cr. to 

Boston; Dec. 23. '63; M. 0. Jan. 20. '66. Co. K. 
Kritzman, Arthur (nuis.). 14; jeweler. Boston; Oct. 12. '61; 

dis. Sept. 2. '62. disa. ; also Kitzman. 
Lawler, William. 27 ; laborer, Charlestown ; dis. Mar. 26, 

'63, disa. 
[N. E. G.] Litchfield. Georo-e S. (Sergt.), 23; carver, Rox- 

bury; Oct. 13, '61; k. June 5, '62, Tranter's Ck., N. C. 
Llovd, John (R). 36; tailor. Boston; cr. to Stoneham; Nov. 

' 18, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Lorden. John. 26; laborer, Boston; Nov. 5. '61; re. Dec. 21, 

'63 ; desert. Nov. 17, '65, Co. K. 
Low, ^\m. B. , Boston; Nov. 26. '61; dis. Dec. 20, 

'61, disa. 
Lowther, John, 21 ; farmer, Boston ; Oct. 24. '61 ; re. Dec. 

21, '63 ; Q. M. Sergt. Feb. 2. '65 ; M. 0. Jan. 20. '66, Co. 

K; Com. 1st Lieut. Jan. 20, '66. 
Lynch, Thomas. 19 ; teamster. Boston ; Dee. 2. '61 ; re. Dec. 

21, '63; wd. May 16, '64, Drewry's Bluff; dis. Aug. 9, 

'65, disa. 
McGrath, Lawrence (R), 21; boot-titter, Boston; Aug. 11, 

'62 ; dis. Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. ; dead. 
McGuire, Charles H., 21 ; farmer, Sharon ; Sept. 13, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 2], '63, cr. to Roxbury; Corp. Sept. 1, '65; M. O. 

Jan. 20. '66, Co. K; d. 1901, Easton. 
McKeown, John, 28; laborer, Roxbury; Oct. 16, '61; re. 

Dec. 21, '63; wd. Aug. 16. '64. Deep Run; M. 0. Jan. 

20, '66, Co. K. 
McLellan, Henry B. (Corp.), 23; engraver, Medford; Oct. 

26, '61 ; dis. Oct. 26, '64, ex. of s. ; also borne on M. O. 

roll as William B. 
McNamara. John (R), 22; laborer, Boston; Aug. 4, '62; re. 

Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
McNulty, James, 20 ; mariner, Mt. Desert, Me. ; Sept. 4, '61 ; 

re. cr. to Boston, Dec. 21, '63; dis. 0. W. D., July 14, 

'65 ; had been prisoner of war ; d. July 18, 1903. 
McNulty, Michael, 33; bootmaker, Quincy; Nov. 14, '61; 

re. Dec. 21, '63 ; desert. Mar. 20, '64. 
Melcher, Charles H. (Corp.), 34; clerk. Roxbury; Sept. 12, 

'61 ; re. Dec. 21, '63 ; trans. April 13, '65, to V. R. C. : 

dis. as 1st Sergt. Nov. 15, '65, V. R. C. 

464 Twenty-fourth ^Iassachusetts Kegiment. 

Minnahan, John. 26; painter, Boston; Oct. 29, '61; re. cr. 

to Grafton Dec. 21, '63 ; wd. July 27, '64, skirmish-line ; 

M. 0. as Corp. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Monks, Thomas, 20 ; shoemaker. Boston ; Sept. 4, '61 ; dis. 

May 28, '63, disa. 
Murdock, Franklin M., 24 ; clerk, Palmer ; Oct. 2, '61 ; dis. 

Oct. 2, '64, ex. of s. 
Nellagan . John (R), 26; butcher, Halifax, N. S. ; cr. to Bos- 
ton; Feb. 23, '64; desert. Nov. 1, '65, Co. K. 
'Callahan, Patrick, 32; laborer, Boston; Oct. 17, '61; d. Oct. 

6, '62, NcAvbern. 
O'Leary, Jeremiah (R), 30; bootmaker, Boston; Aug. 5, '62; 

re. Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K ; d. April 28, 

1875, Togus, Me., N. S. H. 
Page, William, 42 ; farmer, Dennis ; Oct. 17, '61 ; dis. Oct. 11, 

'64, ex. of s. 
Patterson, John, 39 ; stonecutter, Boston ; Sept. 15, '61 ; wd. 

Mar. 14, '62, Newbern, N. C. ; d. of wound Oct. 4, '62. 
Pearl, Henry M., 22 ; farmer, Milton ; Oct. 17, '61 ; dis. Nov. 

20, '62, disa. 
Phipps, Charles AV., 24; teacher, Dedham; Sept. 18, '61; k. 

Aug. 16, '64. Deep Run, Va. 
Piercy, Samuel G. (Corp.), 20; brass-finisher, St. John, N. 

B. ; Sept. 14. '61 ; re. cr. to Boston, Dec. 21, '63 ; desert. 

Mar. 20, '64. 
Preble, Charles II. (Corp.), 22; farmer, Boston; d. Dec. 3, 

'61, Fort Warren, Boston Harbor; first death in regi- 
Riley, David (R). 28; laborer, Boston; Aug. 10, '62; re. 

Dec. 21, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K. 
Riley, Philip J., 21 ; glass-blower, Sandwich ; Oct. 11, '61 ; 

dis. Oct. 11. '64, ex. of s. 
Rivers, James H. (mus.), 17; clerk, Boston; Sept. 19, '61; 

wd. Mar. 14, '62, Newbern; dis. Sept. 2, '62, disa. 
Roche, Patrick, 28 ; farmer, Foxboro ; Sept. 27, '61 ; trans. 

Mar. 14, '64, to V. R. C; dis. Oct. 1. '64, as of Co. A, 

24th Mass. Infantry. 
Schroeder, Henry J. (R), 30: New York City; Jan. 1, 

'62 ; dis. June 20, '63, for Com. in 1st N. C. Vols. 
Scott, David (R), 30; carpenter, Foxboro; April 13, '62; 

dis. Dee. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Shattuck, Mark, 36; blacksmith. Fitchburg; Nov. 1, '61; 

desert. Dec. 8, '61. 

Company A. 465 

Slu'i)anl. Frank II. (Sergt.), 1^^; clerk. Boston; Sept. 2, '61; 

proui. 2d Lieut. Dec. 28. '62; Co. K. 
Shepardson, Hiram. 28 ; clerk, Boston ; Sept. 9. '61 ; dis. 

April 28, '63, disa. 
Smith, David C, 19; barber, Readville ; X. F. R. 
Smith, James B. (Corp.), 25; molder, Readville; Sept. 19, 

'61; trans, to V. R. C. Mar. 10. '64; dis. Sept. 18, '64. 
Snell. Thomas C. 18; blacksmith, Readville; Sept. 25, '61; 

re. Dee. 21, '63. cr. to Dedham ; Corp. Nov. 18, '64; 

:\I. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
[N. E. G.] Snow. Daniel F. (1st Sergt), 21; clerk. Boston; 

Sept. 27, '61; dis. June 9. '63, disa.; d. Feb. 13, '98, 

Too-us, Me., N. S. H. 
Stafford. Thomas, 23 ; horse-shoer, Charlestown ; Nov. 18, 

'61 ; dis. Nov. 18, '64, ex. of s. 
Street, John, 43; painter. Boston; Sept. 7, '61; dis. Sept. 2, 

'62, disa. 
Snmner, John H. (R). 31; bonnet-blocker. Foxboro ; Aug. 

13, '61 ; dis. Dec. 4, '64. ex. of s. ; d. :\Iay 12. 1900, South 

Taber, James D., 25; farmer, Stoughton; Sept. 13, '61; re. 
Dec. 21, '63; Corp. Jan. 1, '64; Sergt. Nov. 16, '64; 
M. O. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K; dead. 

Torrey, Wm. H., 22; molder, Foxboro ; Nov. 20, '61; dis. 
as Sergt. June 8. '63. to take Com. 2d Lieut. 55th Mass. 
Infantry, later 1st Lieut.. Capt. and Brev. Major. 

Turner, John (R). 24; laborer, Boston; July 21. '62; \vd. on 
picket July 12, '62; k. Sept. 12, '64, on picket, Peters- 
burg, Va. 

Tuttle. Samuel E. (Corp.), 23; shoemaker, Boston; wd. Mar. 

14, '62; re. Dec. 21, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. Co. K; d. 
Jan. 5, 1899, Everett; b. Mt. Auburn. 

Walker, H. M., 21; mechanic. Palmer; d. Dee. 12, '61, Ash- 
land, I\Iass., N. F. R. 

Wallace. Charles G.. 22; cook. Cambridge; Nov. 14, '61; 
dis. Nov. 14, '64, ex. of s. 

Warren, George H., 25 ; farmer, Ashland ; Sept. 6, '61 ; dis. 
Sept. 6. '64, ex. of s. ; later in V. R. C. 

Welch, John M. (Sergt.), 24; printer, Foxboro; Sept. 4, 
'61; lost left leg at Roanoke Island, Feb. 8, '62; dis. 
Mar. 26, '63, disa.; dead. 

West, Edward R., 22; farmer, Athol; Sept. 13, '61; d. a 
prisoner in Andersonville, Ga.. May 24, '64. 


Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

White, Nelson 8., 20 ■- 

-. Readville; Oct. 17, '61; dis. 

Dec. 20, '64, for Com. 2d Lieut. 33d U. S. Col. Troops; 

later, 1st Lieut, and Captain. 
White, Rufus F., 24 ; farmer, Wrentham ; Sept. 14, '61 ; wd. 

Mar. 14. '62, Newbern ; dis. Jiilv 14. '62 ; later in Co. 

H, 3d H. A. 
Windel, John (R), 21; seaman, Cape Breton, N. S. ; cr. to 

New Marlboro; Nov. 10, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, Co. K; 

also Windell. 
Wiswell, George W., 21; hair-manufacturer, Roxburv; Nov. 

9, '61; dis. June 26, '63, disa. 

Capt. .1. V>. Nichols (Di. Caiit. A. M. Haywani (A). 


Enlisted men received from the Tliirtj'^-fourth Regiment, June Hi, 1865, 
thereafter constituting Company A of the Twenty-fourth: 

Adams, Edwin M., 21; Worcester; Dec, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, 

Aldrich, John 0. (Corp.), 29; shoemaker, Worcester; Dec. 

8, '63; dis. as Sergt. Dec. 28, '65. 
Ashton, Samuel, 18; mechanic, Colrain; Jan. 4, '64; M. O. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Ballard, Milton, 19; farmer, Wendell; Dec. 30, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66; roll says "Absent sick," Ft. Monroe, Va. 
Barr, Wm. R., 31; shoemaker, Oakham; Dec. 10, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 

Company A. 467 

Benjamin, Joseph. 41; farmer, Spencer; Dec. 1. '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Bennett. Wm. II.. ]9; farmer, Millbnry; Dec. 26. '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Benway, John "W.. 19 ; farmer. South Hadley ; Nov. 7, '63 ; 

dis. July 1, '65, disa. ; also found as Bennsay. 
Bigelow, James G., 18; farmer, Spencer; Dec. 7, '63; Corp. 

July 1, '65; Sergt. Jan. 1, '66; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Bradley, Uri. 44; farmer, Colrain; Dec. 21, '63; M. 0. Jan. 

20, '66: d. Mar. 13, 1902, Chelsea S. H. 
Breauseau, Lewis, 18 ; operative, Barre ; Dec. 4, '64 ; desert. 

Aug. 14, '65; had served in Co. I, 53d Mass.; also 

Burke, James A., 27 ; cutter, Greenfield ; Oct. 27, '63 ; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66; roll says, "Absent sick," Chester, Penn. 
Burnham. Jos. H. (mus.), 17; Holyoke; Dec. 4, '63; dis. 

Dec. 24, '65. 
Burroughs, Jonathan C. (Corp.), 31; bootmaker, Worcester; 

Dec. 8. '63-^ dis. Dec. 15, '65. 
Butler, William, 18; farmer, Greenfield; Dec. 1, '63; Corp. 

Jan. 1, '66 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Cantwell, George B., 22; farmer, Deerfield; Dec. 21, '63; dis. 

June 18, '65, disa. ; borne also as ' ' Cantrell. '.' 
Casey, Patrick, 39; weaver, Worcester; Nov. 25,- '63; M. O. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Chapman, Joseph P., 18; farmer, Springfield; Aug. 10, '64; 

Corp. Jan. 1, '66; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Chester, Francis A. C, 1st Sergt., 23 ; farmer, Somerville ; 

desert. Dec. 19, '65. 
Clark, Henry G., 32; farmer, Greenfield; Nov. 19, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Clark, John H., 19 ; farmer, Worcester ; Dec. 5, '63 ; desert. 

Dec. 15, '65. 
Collins, John, 38; operator, AVorcester; Nov. 28, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Cook, George W., 40; farmer, Greenfield; Aug. 9, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Cummings, John W. (Corp.), 32; farmer, Ware; Sept. 22, 

'63 ; M. O. Jan. 20, '66. 
Davenport, Edward H. (Corp.), 21; farmer, Greenfield; Dec. 

17, '63; Sergt. Sept. 21, '65; 1st Sergt. Jan. 1, '66; 
. M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; Com. 2d Lieut. Jan. 20, '66. 

468 Twenty-fourth ^Massachusetts Regiment. 

De§hon, Joseph, 18; laborer, Ashfield; Jan. 12, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Dugan, Thomas, 18 ; farmer, Charlemont ; Dec. 31, '63 ; 

desert. Oct. 27, '65. 
Eberlein, John, 36; tailor, Deerfield; Feb. 23, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Eddy, Lucas J., 21 ; farmer, Greenfield ; Sept. 25, '63 ; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
EUdns, Winnick, 42 ; farmer, Springfield ; Dec. 11, '63 ; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66 ; had served in Co. K, 27th Mass. Infantry. 
Farnsworth, Joseph R., 23 ; farmer, Colraiu ; Dec. 21, '63 ; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Fay, Charles L., 39; bootmaker, Spencer; Dec. 1, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Gammell, Andrew, 28 ; laborer, Holden ; Dec. 16, '63 ; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Gavlord, Gilbert H., 18; farmer, Springfield; Dec. 11, '63; 

" M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Gibbons, Patrick, 34 ; laborer, Clinton ; Dec. 7, '63 -, M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Giftord, Stephen E., 18; farmer, Pittsfield; Nov. 9, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Groves, Francis A. (Corp.), 23; shoemaker, Brirafield; Dec. 

14, '63; M. 0: Jan. 20, '66. 
Guild, Edward B., 25; carder, Millbury; Dec. 28, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '6d. 
Harrington, John, 30 ; shoemaker, Worcester ; Nov. 19, '63 ; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Henry, Albert, 21; farmer, Holden; Sept. 19, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Hogan, William, 34; laborer, Pittsfield; Oct. 14, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Howard, Joseph W., 18; farmer, Athol; Mar. 31, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Howe, George F., 18; farmer, Spencer; June 7, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Howe, Myron, 21 ; farmer, Wendell ; M. 0. as jmsoner of 

war, Jan. 20, '66 ; no records. 
Hunt, Albert L., 18 ; farmer, Warwick ; Dec. 18, '63 ; Corp. 

Oct. 14, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Hunt, Albert L., 34 ; laborer, Pittsfield ; Oct. 14, '63 ; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 

C031PANY A. 469 

Jennings. George W.. 30; shoemaker, Greenfield; Aug. 9, '64; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Kingman, Alexander C, 36 : bootmaker. Xortlibridge ; Dec. 

31, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Klahn, Lndwig, 35; farmer. Springfield; Aug. 12. '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Knight. Benjamin W., 18; laborer, Worcester; Oct. 14, '63; 

Corp. Jan. 1, '66 : M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Leonard, William, 29; mechanic, Deerfield : Jan. 2. '64; dis. 

Nov. 19, '65. 
McCarthy, John, 44; laborer, Pittsfield; Nov. 11, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66; also borne as Thomas; d. Nov. 28, '92, 

Togns, Me., N. S. H. 
McElroy. Henry, 25 ; clerk, Boston ; Dec. 29, '63 ; dis. July 

14, '65, disa. 
Maillette, Felix (Corp.). 18: boatman. Ashlield; Jan. 12. '64: 

Sergt. Oct. 14, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Maloy, Thomas, 24; laborer, Clinton; Dec. 11, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Manning, Wm. C, 23; painter, Worcester: Jan. 4, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Marsh, Oscar, 18 ; machinist, Warren ; Dec. 19, '63 ; d. Mar. 

13, '65, Wilmington, N. C. 
Martin, William, 23; farmer, Deerfield; Dec. 21. '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Miner, Jonathan J., 21; farmer, Windsor; Jan. 4, '64; Corp. 

Oct. 14, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Neff, Roland E., 19; farmer, Worcester; Sept. 29, '63; Corp. 

Sept. 21, '65; Sergt. Jan. 1, '66- M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Newton, Emerson, 18 : farmer. ^lontagiie ; Dec. 29, '63 ; ]\I. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
O'Keefe, Daniel, 24; clerk, Springfield; Jan. 11, '64; dis. 

Dec. 25, '65, as Sergt. 
Packard, IMelvin, 26; mechanic, Northampton; Jan. 4. '64; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Parker. William R., 33; mechanic, Deerfield; Jan. 22, '64; 

Corp. July 1, '6o; Sergt. Jan. 1, '66; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Pellissier. Francois. 19; sailor, Greenfield; Dec. 17, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20. '66. 
Pennock, Charles L.. 25; farmer, Pittsfield; Oct. 26, '63; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Phillips, Edward, 18; farmer, Hadley; Dec. 28, '63; Corp. 

Jan. 1, '66; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 

470 Twenty-fourth INIassachusetts Regiment. 

Potter, Warren J., 21 ; farmer, Greenfield ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Pratt, EdAvard L., 41; shoemaker, Pittsfield; Dec. 10, '63; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Pratt, Oren A., 18 ; farmer, Clinton ; Dec. 11, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 

20, '66 : had served in Co. I, 53d Mass. 
Putnam, Nathan B., 36; pailmaker, Greenfield; Nov. 16. '63; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Riley, Michael, 35; spinner, Worcester; desert. Dec. 16, '65. 
Rivers, Edward, 18; laborer, Worcester; Dec. 16, '63; dis. 

Dec. 16, '64. 
Sargent, Ephraira H., 25; farmer, Worcester; Dec. 7, '63; 

dis. Aug. 26, '65. 
Siegars, Gilbert E., 27; pattern-maker, Worcester; Jan. 4, 

'64; dis. Jan. 18, '66, disa. 
Smith, Andrew, 28 ; music-teacher, Swansea ; Jan. 13, '64 

dis. June 29, '65. 
Smith, Joseph D.. 33; teamster, Springfield; Aug. 10, '64 

dis. July 6, '65. 
Smith, William R., 22; mechanic, Greenfield; Sept. 16, '63 

dis. Dec. 15, '65. 
Stearns, Ezra J., 21 ; farmer, Worcester ; Dec. 7, '63 ; dis. 

Dec. 5, '65, disa. 
Stimson, Royal, 24; farmer, Greenfield; Oct. 30, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66; also Stimpson. 
Stowell, Charles H., 18; farmer, Greenfield; Nov. 16, '63; 

Corp. Jan. 1, '66; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Temple, Henry W., 22; farmer, Greenfield; Dec. 21. '64; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Veber, Elias E., 22; farmer, Charlemont; Dec. 25, '63; dis. 

July 24, '65, disa. 
Walker, Charles, 18; mechanic, Colrain; Jan. 11, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Walker, Silas P., 22; student, Worcester; Dec. 9, '63; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66 ; also Silas N. 
Wallace, Joseph, 24; farmer, Colrain; Jan. 4, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Waterman, Benjamin D., 30; farmer, Greenfield; Nov. 23, 

'63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Waterman, Horton, 32; farmer, Shrewsbury; Feb. 5, '64; 

dis. May 11, '65. 
Weston, Chester H. (or A.), 18; farmer, Worcester; Jan. 4, 

'64 ; absent sick at M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Wilbur, Benjamin C, 27 ; farmer, Richmond ; Jan. 4, '64 ; dis. 

Dec. 15, '65. 

(•OMl'AXY B. 471 

Company B.' 


George F. Austin. 23 -. merchant. Salem ; Sept. 2, '61 ; res. 
Aug. 21, '62 ; had served as 1st Lieut. Co. I, 8th M. V. M., 
May 18- — Aug. 1. *61 : d. Jan. 15, '79, New Orleans. 

George V. Gardner. Aug. 27. '62; dis. Oct. 14. '64, ex. of s.; 
d. ]\Iareh .18. '65. Salem; had been appointed City Mar- 
shal, but he died before assuming the office. 

Jarvis White. Sept. 28. '64; M. O. Jan. 20, '66; dead. He 
was postmaster of So. Superior, Wisconsin, for several 


George W. Gardner, 27 : overseer. Salem ; Sept. 2, '61 ; prom. 

Thomas F. Edmands, Aug. 27, '62, from Co. K ; prom. Cap- 
tain, Co. G. 

Jesse S. Williams fE), May 17, '64; wd. June 17, '64, picket; 
k. Aug. 16, '64, Deep'Kun, Va. 

Jarvis White (I), Aug. 17. '64; prom. Captain. 

Henry L. Hartshorn. Oct. 15, '64, from Co. G, Sergt. ; M. 0. 
Jan. 20, '66 ; prom. Captain, Jan. 6, '66 ; not mustered. 


Deming Jarves, Jr., 22 : merchant. Boston ; Sept. 2, '61 ; res. 

Sept. 9, '63, disa. ; was early detached and served in the 

Signal Corps. 
Alexander M. Havward (C), Jan. 4, '64; prom. 1st Lieut, 

Co. A. 
Leonard D. Cobb. Jan. 20, '66 ; not mustered. 


Abbott, Charles J., 22 ; teamster, Salem ; Oct. 17, '61 ; dis., as 

wagoner, Oct. 17. '64. ex. of s. 
Alden. Wm. R. (or B.). 23: mechanic, Boston; Oct. 1, '61; 

re. Dec. 19, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; d. Oct. 10, '96, Nor- 

Armstrong. John H. (mus.), 14; Boston; Sept. 16, '61; re. 

Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Baird, James, 22 ; tinsmith, Philadelphia, Penn. ; Sept. 13, 

'61 ; dis. June 24. '63. disa. 

472 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Bangs, George (R), 30; trader, Cambridge; July 21, '62; dis. 

July 22, '63, disa. 
Barnard, George N., 18; hostler, Medford; Sept. 25, '61; re. 

Dec. 19, '63 ; Corp. Nov. 13, '64 ; ^L 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Barnes, Wm. 11. (R), 22; farmer. Boston; Aug. 18, '62; dis. 

Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Barnes, Wm. L. (R), 20; laborer, Boston; Aug. 18, '62; dis. 

Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Barry, John (Corp.), 20; painter. St. John, N. B. ; Sept. 19, 

'61; dis. Oct. 24, '62, disa. 
Beal, James A., 26 ; farmer, Boston ; Oct. 9, '61 ; wd. June 5, 

'62, Tranter's Ck., N. C. ; dis. Oct. 9, '64, ex. of s.' 
Beedle, Jerry A. (R), 28; nailmaker, Taunton; Mav 8, '62; 

re. Dec. 19, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66, as Sergt. ^ 
Bent, William H., 21; cabinet-maker. Quincy; Oct. 1, '61; 

re. Dee. 19, '63; Corp. April 22. '64; wd. Aug. 14, '64, 

Deep Bottom, Va. ; trans, to V. R. C. April 17, '65; dead. 
Besse, Joshua, 27 ; nailer, Wareham ; Sept. 30, '61 ; desert. 

Dec. 1, '61. 
Blaisdell, Edward (R), 21; stone-cutter, Cambridge; July 21, 

'62; re. cr. to Boston, Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20," '66, 

as Cori3. 
Bly, Daniel M., 22; seaman. So. Danvers; Oct. 23, '61; re. 

Dec. 19. '63; desert. Sept. 21. '65- lost at sea, off Thatch- 
er's Island. 
Bly, Joseph (Corp.), 23; seaman, Salem; Sept. 25, '61; dis. 

June, '63, disa. 
Brown, Harry (R), 23; painter, Salem; cr. to Roxbury, Mar. 

24, '64;*dis. Oct. 31, '65. ex. of s. ; had sein^ed in 91st 

Penn. Vols. 
Brown, John H. (R), 28; shoemaker, IMarblehead ; Aug. 15, 

'62; re. Dec. 19, '63; desert. Sept. 21, '65. 
Brooks, Charles H., 18 ; currier, ^Eliot, Me. ; Sept. 21, '61 ; 

Corp. Feb. 1, '62; dis. July 27, '62, disa. 
Buftum, Adelbert A. (Corp.), 18; clerk, Boston; Sept. 23, 

'61 ; dis. Sept. 23, '64, ex. of s. 
Bumpus, Benjamin C, 37; laborer, Wareham; Sept. 30, '61; 

re. Dec. 19, '63; Corp. Sept. 1. '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; 

d. April 10, 1889. 

Bumpus, David C, 27; seaman, Warehan); Sept. 25, '61; d. 

Oct. 1, '63, Xewbern, N. C. 
Bumpus, Henrv F., 28 ; seaman, Wareham ; Oct. 28, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20. '66. 

Company H. 473 

Bumpus, Lvsaiider N., 38 ; nailer, Wareham ; Oct. 16, '61 ; 

Dec. 19. '63 ; wd. Auo. 16. '64. Deep Bottom. Va. ; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, -66: d. Jan. 31. 1883. 
Bumpus, Owen F.. 18; laborer, Wareham; Sept. 26, '61; dis. 

Sept. 25, '64, ex. of s. 
Burg-ess. Charles B. (wagoner). 22; hostler. No. Abington; 

Sept. 21. '61 : re. Dee. 19, '63 ; cr. to Bedford : dis. June 

9. '65 ; dead. 
Campbell. John. 39 ; g-ardener, Wareham : Sept. 27, '61 ; dis. 

June 9, '63, disa. 
Carthy, Edward, 21; teamster, Boston; re. Dee. 19, '63; wd. 

Oct. 13, '64, Darbvtown Rd., Va.; dis. as Sergt. Nov. 14, 

Chase. Charles P., 21; butcher. Salem; Nov. 21, '61; captured 

Sept. 6, '62; re. Dec. 19, '63; Corp. Jan. 1. '66; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Cheslev. Charles H., 18 ; machinist, Salem ; Sept. 18. '61 ; re. 

Dec. 19. '63; M. 0. Jan. 20. '66. 
Chipman, Charles G. (1st Sergt.). 21; clerk, Salem; Sept. 5, 

'61; dis. Sept. 30, '63, for Com. 2d Lieut. 54th Mass. 

Infantrv ; later 1st Lieut, and Captain ; d. Jan. 25, 1887, 

Green Bav, Wis. ; had served in Co. A, 5th :\r. V. M., May 

1— July i, '61. 
Clough, Taylor (R), 34; shoe-cutter. Natick; May 21, '62; re. 

Dec. 19. '63 ; Corp. Sept. 1, '65 ; Sergt. Jan. 6. '66 ; i\r. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Cloutman, Alvah (R). 29: :\Iay 14, '62; laborer, Boston; re. 

Dec. 19, '63; Sergt. April 22. '64; prom. 1st Lieut. 

Co. D. 
Cobb. Leonard D. (Sergt), 24; currier, Brunswick. Me.; 

Sept. 22, '61; re. cr. to So. Danvers, Dec. 19, '63 ; 1st 

Sergt., Sept. 1, '65 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; prom. 2d Lieut., 

Jan. 20, '66; not mustered. 
Coggins, Edward, 20; pianoforte-maker, Boston; Sept. 23, 

'61; trans, to Signal Corps, Oct. 15, '63; dis. Oct. 2, '64, 

ex. of s. 
Coleman, Thomas II. (R), 19; bootmaker, Weymouth; Dec. 

21, '63; desert. Sept. 21, '65. 
Comiellv, Patrick, 22; currier. Boston; Sept. 18. '61; re. Dec. 

19,"^ '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Covell, Samuel 0. (mus.), 14; storekeeper. Boston; Sept. 16, 

'61 ; re. Dec. 19. '63 ; "SI. O. Jan. 20. '66. 

474 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Critchett, Charles E., 31; carriage-maker, Salem; Sept. 21, 

'61 ; dis. Sept. 23, '64, ex. of s. ; d. June 3, '02, Melrose. 
Dam, Benjamin F., 40; bookkeeper, Chelsea; Sept. 20, '61; 

dis. Jan. 2, '62, disa. 
Devers, Edward, 19 ; teamster, Boston ; Sept. 25, '61 ; re. Dec. 

19, '63; dis. Jan. 18, '66. 
Doan, Patrick (R), 35; currier, Salem; cr. to Charlemont, 

Aug. 5, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Downing, Sylvester G. (R), 22; shoemaker, Boston; Aug. 28. 

'62 ; re.^ Dec. 19, '63, cr. to Charlestown ; M. O. Jan. 20, 

Farris, Robert, 21 ; teamster, Boston ; Sept. 17, '61 ; re. Dec. 

19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; d. June 12, 1885; b. Mt. 

Auburn ; real name, Jas. McBrien. 
Franklin, Charles, 28 ; nailer, Wareham ; Sept. 25, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
French, George H. (Corp.), 22; nailer, Dorchester; Sept. 6, 

'61 ; d. Jan. 12, '63, Portsmouth, Va. 
Friend, Alfred, 21 ; Oct. 26, '61 ; d. of wounds, July 17, '63, 

as Corporal, James Island, S. C. 
Gibbs, Phineas, 42 ; foundrvman, Plymouth ; Sept. 6, '61 ; re 

cr. to Sandwich, Dec. 19, '63 ; m". 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; d. 1892 

Good, Jolui H. (R), 20; laborer, Roxbury. Aug. 15, '64 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Greeley, Thomas' J., 18; painter, Salem; re. Dec. 19, '63 

Corp. Sept. '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Halloran, Michael, 20 ; farmer, Wareham ; Oct. 3, '61 ; re 

Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Hammond, William B., 27; painter, Salisbury; Oct. 8, '61 

Corp. Sept. 1, '63 ; dis. Oct. 9, '64, ex. of s. ; d. Mar. 6 

1895, Georgetown, Mass. 
Hancock, James, 41 ; painter, Boston ; Oct. 21. '61 ; d. Aug, 

10, '62, Washington, N. C. 
Hayden, Joseph (Corp.), 26; nailer, Boston; Sept. 10, '61 

dis. June 23, '63, disa. 
Hayden, Joseph (R), 27; nailer, Wareham; Sept. 10, '62 

dis. June 13, '63, disa. 
Higgins, Asa T., 29; laborer, Boston; May 19, '62; Corp. May 

26, '64 ; dis. Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Higgins, John 0., 19 ; carriage-painter, Boston ; Sept. 22, 

'61 ; dis. June 17, '63, disa. 

Com I 'ANY B. 475 

Higgins, Willard S., Jr., 18; teamster, Boston; Sept. 19, '61; 

re. Dee. 19, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Ireson, Francis E. (R), 25; shoemaker, Marblehead ; Aug. 

15, '62; re. Dec. 19, '63; d. of wounds Nov. 21, '64, 

Bermuda Hundred, Va. 
Jacobs, Lawrence, 19 ; printer, Boston ; Oct. 15, '61 ; re. Dec. 

19, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; d. Dec. 10, 1896. 
Johnson, Uriah M. (R), 36; laborer, Wareham; Jan. 2, '64; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Kehew, Francis A., 25; cooper, Salem; Oct. 17, '61; re. Dec. 

'63 ; dis. as Sergt. Sept. 22, '65. 
Kehew, George, 21 ; cooper, Salem ; Oct. 17, '61 ; re. Dec. 19, 

'63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Kehew, John H., 28 ; cooper, Salem ; Oct. 17, '61 ; re. Dec. 19, 

'63; desert. Aug. 17, '65. 
Knight, Joseph S. (R), 25; shoemaker, Marblehead; Aug. 15, 

'62 ; re. Dec. 19, '63 ; Corp. Oct. 1," '64 ; Sergt. Sept. 1, 

'65 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; dead. 
Lake, David G. (Sergt.), 29; machinist, Topsfield; Sept. 22, 

'61 ; dis. Dec. 20, '62, for promotion ; dead. 
Leland, Edward (R), 33; bootmaker, Holliston; May 14, '62; 

d. Oct. 30, '63, St. Augustine, Fla. 
Lennon, Joseph R., 22 ; clerk, Roxbury ; Oct. 30, '61 ; re. Dec. 

19, '63 ; dis. 1st Sergt., Feb. 28, '65, disa. 
Lewis, Galen, 17 ; paper-hanger, Medford ; Sept. 25, '61 ; 

trans, to Signal Corps July 20, '63. 
Lindsev, Wm. H. (R), 19; shoemaker, Taunton; May 13, '62; 

re. Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. as Corp. Jan. 20, '66. 
Littlefield, James C, 18 ; teamster, Watertowu ; Oct. 15, '61 ; 

wd. Sept. 6, '62, Washington N. C. ; dis. June 9, '63, 

disa. ; d. Jan. 30, 1905, Everett. 
Luscomb, Wm. H., 18 ; farmer, Salem ; Sept. 10, '61 ; re. Dec. 

19, '63; M. 0. as Corp. Jan. 20, '66. 
McBrien, James; vid. Robert Farris. 
McCarthy, Jeremiah (R), 37; • , Boston; April 6, 

'64; wd. Oct. 28, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; d. Dec. 26, 

1894, Tog-US, Me., N. S. H. 
McCarthy, John (R), 21; teamster, Somerville; May 3, '62; 

re. cr. to Boston, Dec. 19, '63; wd. Oct. 13, '64; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
McCue, Barnard, 19 ; shoemaker, Boston ; Sept. 25, '61 ; dis. 

May 6, '63, disa. 

476 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Mclntyre, George, 19; farmer, Salem ; Sept. 18, '61; d. of 

wounds, April 10, '62, Newbern. 
Malone, Michael (R), 22; machinist, Portsmouth, N. H. ; cr. 

to Sudbury, Mar. 26, '64; desert. July 30, '65. 
Martin, Richard H., 19; shoemaker, Marblehead; Sept. 30, 

'61 ; re. Dec. 19, '63 ; d. of wounds, June 30, '64, Hamp- 
ton, Va. 
Meacham, Edward, 20; clerk, So. Danvers; Oct. 6, '61; dis. 

July 22, '63, disa. 
Mudge, Everett, 30 ; painter, Lynn ; Oct. 3, '61 ; dis. Oct. 9, 

'64, ex. of s. ; d. Nov. 29, '95. 
Nolan, Francis, 23 ; painter, Salem ; Nov. 12, '61 ; re. Dec. 19, 

'63 ; Corp. Sept. 1, '65 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Norris, George M. (Corp.), 30; machinist, Boston-, Sept. 16, 

'61; dis. Sept. 16, '64, ex. of s. 
'Keefe, John, 36 ; . shoemaker, Salem ; Sept. 14, '61 ; dis. 

Sept. 14, '64, ex. of s. ; d. Mar. 3, '98, Danvers. 
Oldham, Isaac T., 24; nailer, Wareham; Sept. 25, '61; d. 

Feb. 26, '63, Portsmouth, Va. 
Oldham, John R. (R), 18; hostler, Wareham; Jan. 1, '64; 

k. Aug. 14, '64, Deep Bottom, Va. ; had served in Co. B, 

3d M. V. M., Sept. 26, '62^rime 26, '63. 
Oldham, John S., 30; stevedore, Wareham; Sept. 29, '61; d. 

Jan. 12, '63, Newbern, N. C. 
Oldson, Francis T., 26; cooper, Salem; Oct. 17, '61; d. of 

wounds, Sept. 6, '61. 
O'Neal, Thomas, 38; laborer, Salem; Oct. 19, '61; dis. Aug. 

7, '63, disa. ; d. June 12, 1905, Salem. 
Osborn, Franklin, Jr., 29 ; farmer, So. Danvers ; Dec. 2, '61 ; 

Corp. Dec. 19, '62; dis. May 1, '63, disa. 
Parker, George F., 19 ; confectioner, Salem ; Sept. 30, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 19, '63 ; dis. July 21, '65, disa. 
Peach, Georg6 S. (Sergt.), 37; cordwainer, Salem; Sept. 12, 

'61; lost leg, April 11, '63, Seabrook Isle, S. C. ; dis. 

April 22, '64, disa. 
Perry, David A., 25; seaman, Wareham; Sept. 27, '61; Dec. 

19, '63; d. Sept. 28, '64, Hampton. Va. 
Pettingill, Wm. H., 21; hatter, Newburyport; Oct. 1, '61; re. 

cr. to Cambridge, Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Phillips, Wm. (R), 18; bootmaker, Weymouth; Dec. 21, '63; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; also borne as Lewis. 

Company B. 477 

Pittsley, Charles B. (or P.), 18; nailer, Freetown; Sept. 2, 

'61 ; re. cr. to Wareham, Dec. 19, '63 ; wd. May 16, '64, 

Drewry's Bluff; dis. June 21, '65, disa. 
Plnmmer, Frank (Corp.), 25; cordwainer, Salem; Sept. 25, 

'61 ; re. cr. to So. Danvers, Dec. 19, '63 ; Sergt. Dec. 19, 

'62; dis. Ang. 1, '65, disa. 
Power, Frank (R), 18; laborer, Boston; Aug. 18, '62; dis. 

Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Putnam, Henry U., 18; , Boston; Oct. 10, '61; 

desert. Nov. 1, '61. 
Reed, Thomas, 34; shoemaker, Salem; Oct. 5, '61; dis. Oct. 

5, 64, ex. of s. 
Ryan, James, 21 ; laborer, Wareham ; Sept. 27, '61 ; wd. June 

17, '64, Bermuda Hundred; dis. Sept. 27, '64, ex. of s. 
Sanger, Augustus H., Jr., 19; mechanic. So. Danvers; dis. as 

Sergt. Oct. 15, '64, ex. of s. ; d. April 11, 1901, S. H. ; 

also found as Albert. 
Scates, David M., 26; mariner, Salem; Oct. 25, '61; dis. Sept. 

2, '62, disa. 
Shove, George H., 24; currier, Lynn; Oct. 20, '61; dis. Oct. 

23, '64, ex. of s. 
Sinclair, David, 36 ; carpenter, Salem ; Oct. 3, '61 ; re. Dec. 

19, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Smith. John, 28; machinist, Boston; Oct. 21, '61; dis. Sept. 6, 

'62, disa. 
Sprague, Edwin D., 19; farmer, Medford; Sept. 23, '61; d. 

of wounds, Sept. 8, '62, Newbern ; wd. the 6th at Wash- 
ington, N. C. 
Stacey, Henry J. (R), 41; mariner, Marblehead; Aug. 19, 

'62 ; re. Dec. 19, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; also borne as 

Jos. G. 
Stevenson, Alexander, 31 ; mechanic, Boston ; Oct. '1-, '61 ; re. 

Dec. 19, '63; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Swift, Joseph H., 23; farmer, Falmouth; Sept. 12, '61; dis. 

Sept. 12, '64, ex. of s. 
Taylor, Wallace, 42 ; carpenter, Boston ; Oct. 11, '61 ; d. Oct. 

23, '62, Newbern. 
Thomas, Albert, 22; laborer, Weymouth; Sept. 23, '61; re. 

Dec. 19, '63 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ■ d. June 7. '93. 
Trask, Charles W., 23; clerk. So. Danvers; Sept. 21, '61; re. 

Dec. 19, '63 ; d. as Corp. July 2, '64, Point of Rocks, Va. 
Vincent, James N., 30 ; blacksmith, Chelsea ; Sept. 26, '61 ; k. 

Mar. 14, '62, Newbern. 

478 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Wetherell, Isaac P.^ 24 ; farmer, Granville ; Oct. 3, '61 ; dis. 

April 1, '63, disa. 
Whipple, Simeon R. (Corp.), 34; currier, Concord; Oct. 3, 

'61 ; dis. Oct. 9, '64, ex. of s. ; d. Mar. 30, 1900. 
White, George, 22; seaman, Braintree; Sept. 18, '61; re. Dec. 

19, '63; cr. to Quincy; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; d. 1901, 

Wiley, Wm. F. (1st Sergt.), 24; currier, Salem; Sept. 22, 

'61 ; re. Dec. 19, '63 ; cr. to So. Danvers ; prom. 1st Lieut. 

Oct. 14, '64, Co. K ; had served in Co. I, 8th M. V. M., 

May 18— Aug. 1, '61. 
Willey, John H. (R). 23; teamster, Sharon; May 12, '62; 

dis. Oct. 7, '62, disa. 
Willey, Wm. A., 20; printer, Salem; Sept. 25, '61; dis. Sept. 

12, '62, disa. 
Worrall, Henry S. (R), 21; engineer, Boston; May 8, '62; 

re. Dec. 19, '63; Corp. April 22, '64; Sergt. Oct. 16, '64; 

1st Sergt. Mar. '65; Sergt. -major Sept. 1, '65; prom. 1st 

Lieut. Jan. 20, '66 ; d. Mar. 12, 1902, S. H. 
Young, George W., 28; seaman, Rockport; Oct. 14, '61; d. 

April 21, '62, Newbem. 

Company C. 


William Pratt, 26 ; clerk, Boston ; Sept. 2, '61 ; trans, to 
Co. D, May, '63 ; dis. June 26, '63, to become Captain 
and A. A. G., U. S. Vols. ; d. Mar. 28, '93, New York. 

James B. Bell, Dec. 28, '62; dis. Sept. 27, '64, ex. of s.; d. 
July 29, 1894, Boston. 

George W. Nichols, Sept. 28, '64 ; res. Jan. 14, '65 ; d. Nov. — 

Alvah Cloutman, Jan. 15, '65; from Co. D; M. 0. Jan. 20, 
'66; d. Aug. 18, 1892, Boston. 

FIRST lieutenants. 

James B. Bell, 35; tradesman, Cambridge; Sept. 2, '61; prom. 

Company C. 479 

Nathaniel S. Barstow, Dec. 28, '62; detached and served in 
the Signal Corps, rendering valuable service : d. May 22, 
'64, Newbern, N. C. ; b. Mt. Auburn. 

George W. Nichols, June 16, '64, from Co. A ; prom. Captain. 

Augustus D. Ayling (R), 24; Lowell; May 21, '65; Adjutant, 
Aug., '65 ; had sei*ved as private in the 7th Battery, and 
as 2d and 1st Lieuts. in the 29th Mass. Infantry. 

Henry Hancock, Jan. 6, '66 ; not mustered. 


Nathaniel S. Barstow, 22; student, Boston; Sept. 2, '61; 

prom. 1st Lieut. 
Frank B. DePeyster, ^lar. 14, '64; declined. 
Henry Hancock, Aug. 18, '65 ; declined. 
Frederick W. M^ilson, June 7, '65; cancelled. 
Cyrus Andrews, Jan. 20, '66 ; not mustered. 


Allen, George AV., 22 ; farmer, Northboro ; Sept. 7, '61 ; dis. 

Sept. 6, '64, ex. of s. 
Altrieth, Leonard, 27 ; tailor, Attleboro ; Sept. 12, '61 ; dis. 

May 24, '62; d. Medford, Mar. 15, 1902. 
Andrews, Cyrus, 27 ; shoemaker, Essex ; Oct. 18, '61 ; re. Jan. 

4, '64; wd. May 13, '64, Drewry's Bluff; Corp. June 1, 

'64; Sergt. Oct. 8, '64; prom. 2d Lieut. Jan. 20, '66; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Bartlett, John W., 18; farmer, Holyoke; Sept. 30, '61; d. of 

wounds Mar. 29, '62, Newbern. 
Baxter, John M., vide John McMahon. 
Berry, Charles H., 23 ; farmer. East Boston ; Sept. 3, '61 ; re. 

Jan. 4, '64, cr. to Wayland; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; Berry 

was the regimental postmaster throughout his term of 

Bills, Wilber H., 22; farmer. Great Barriugton; Sept. 10, 

'61; dis. May 2, '63, disa. ; sei-ved later in Co. D, 57th 

Mass. Infantry. 
Blackman, Benjamin E., 19 ; mariner, Woolwich, Me. ; Oct. 

19, '61 ; d. Jan. 29, '62, Annapolis, Md. 
Blagg, George F., 20; clerk, Waltham; Oct. 14. '61; dis. Oct. 

14, '64, ex. of s. 

480 Twenty-fourth ]\Iassachusetts Eegiment. 

Boyntoii, Daniel, 24; mariner. Palermo, ]\Ie. : Oct. 17. '61; 

re. Jan. 4, '64, cr to Gloucester; Corp. Sept. 1. '64; 

Sergt. Sept. 1, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Bragg, Edwin C, 21 ; Attleboro ; Sept. 14, '61 ; re. 

Jan. 4, '64; lost on steamer, General Lyon, April 28, '65. 
Bray, Josiah C, 31; mariner, Gloucester; Oct. 10. '61; re. 

Jan. 4, '64 ; Corp. July 1, '62 ; Sergt. Jan. 11. '66 ; M. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Carr, John D., 23 ; shoemaker, Gloucester ; Oct. 4. '61 ; dis. 

April 23, '62, disa. 
Carroll, John, 22 ; painter, Boston ; Sept. 10, '61 ; re. Jan. 4, 

'64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Carver, Justin A., 22; shoemaker, Marshtield; Oct. 17, '61; 

wd. Mar. 14, '62, Newbern ; dis. Oct. 5, '62, disa. 
Childs, Oliver F., 32; farmer, Saugus; Oct. 14. '61: dis. Sept. 

20, '62, disa. 

Chubbuck, Perez (Corp.), 26; ship-carpenter, Quincy; Oct. 

21, '63; re. Jan. 4, '64; cr. to IMillburv; wd. Oct. 13, '64, 
Darbytown Rd., Va. ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 

Clark, Henry A., 18; student, Lowell; Oct. 19, '61; k. Aug. 
16, '64, Deep Run, Ya. 

Coffin, Jason L., 19 ; shoemaker, Winchester ; re. cr. to Mill- 
bury, Jan. 4, '64; wd. Oct. 7, '64; Darbytown Rd., Va. ; 
dis. June 17, '65, disa. 

Conly, John, 20; farmer, West Stockbridge; Sept. 30, '61; 
re. Jan. 4, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 

Cook, John C, Jr. (R), 21; clerk, Roxbury; Aug. 7, '62; dis. 
Dec. 4. '64, ex. of s. As Secretary, Treasurer or Vice- 
president of the Regimental Veteran Association, Cor- 
poral Cook has been in continuous service since 1880; 
he is Secretary at present ; with just two years out, he 
has been a member of Boston's Board of Assessore since 

Cooley, George I., 18 ; farmer, Boston ; Sept. 7. '61 ; re. Jan. 
4, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 

Corliss, Reuben (R), 44; stone-cutter, Gloucester; Aug. 5, 
'62 ; dis. Oct. 3, '62, disa. 

Cormerais, Lucius, 40 ; accojintant, Boston ; Oct. 20. '61 ; dis. 
]\Iar. 4, '64, disa. 

Corser, Wm. H. (R), 34; pianoforte-maker, ]\Iedford; July 
24, '62 ; re. Jan. 4, '64, cr. to Medford ; dis. Sept. 21, '65, 

Company C. 


A. J. Vining (K). 
Serfft. G. T. Sibley (I) llS'ju). 

C. H. Berry (C). 
S. Reiniiigtoii ( H). 

Siim'nVillis (C). 
E. B.Lyon (K). 

Crowley, James (mus.), 17; waiter, Boston; Sept. 17, '61; 

re. Jan. 4, '64, cr. to Roxbury; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Day, Jerome N. (R). 22; cordwainer. So. Reading; July 18, 

'62; re. Jan. 4, '64; cr. to Medford; Corp. Jan. 11, '66; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
DePeyster, Frank B. (Sergt), 19; clerk, Roxbury; Oct. 28, 

'61 ; 1st Sergt. July 1, '64 ; prom. 2d Lieut. Mar. 14, '64 ; 

not mustered; dis. Oct. 27, '64, ex. of s. 
Dirks, Charles P., 38; jeweler, Attleboro; Sept. 16, '61; dis. 

Sept. 17, '64, ex. of s. ; d. 1903. 
Dresser, George N., 21 ; shoemaker, Georgetown ; Oct. 3, '61 ; 

dis. Oct. 8, '64, ex. of s. 
Drew, Lewis A., 22 ; clerk, Boston ; Nov. 8, '61 ; d. Sept. 6, 

'62, Newbern. 

Duren, Charles M., 19 ; clerk, Cambridge ; Oct. 24, '61 ; dis. 
Jan. 6, '64, for Com. 2d Lieut. 54th Mass. Infantry ; later 
1st Lieut, and Adjt. ; d. Mar. 16, '69, Bangor, Me. 

482 TwENTV-FOURTH IMassachusetts Regiment. 

Diirgin, James A., 26 ; luniljerman, Veazie, Me. ; Oct. 18, '61 ; 

dis. April 23, '63, disa. 
Eastland, Frederick E., 26; carpenter, Stockbridge; Sept. 26, 

'61 ; re. cr. to So. Reading, Jan. 4, '64 ; wd. May 16, '64 ; 

dis. Feb. 16, '65. 
Eaton, Victor (R), 21; cordwainer. So.' Reading; July 18, 

'62; re. Jan. 4, '64; wd. Oct. 13, '64: trans. V. R. C. 

April 11, '65 ; dis. Nov. 16, '65. 
Eckert, Joseph, 45 ; carpenter, Cambridge ; Oct. 16, '61 ; dis. 

Oct. 14, '64, ex. of s. 
Fay, Edward, 34 ; farmer, Sherborn ; Oct. 2. '61 ; Corp. Aug. 

15, '63; re. Jan. 4, '64; wd. May 16, '64; dis. July 12, 
'65, disa. 

Foley, John G.. 30; printer, Boston; Nov. 28, '61; re. Jan. 4, 
'64 ; cr. to Roxbury ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; d. Sept. 12, '92, 

Fortier, Fabian A., 34; mechanic, Lee, Sept. 9, '61; wd. May 

16, '64 ; dis. Sept. 7, '64, ex. of s. ; d. Dec. 14, '66. 
Furnald, Alonzo (wagoner), 19; expressman, Quincy; Oct. 

8, '61; re. Jan. 4, '64; cr. to Stockbridge; Corp. Sept. 

21, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Gilford, David A. (Corp.), 35; carpenter, Danvers: Oct. 28, 

'61 ; trans. Mar. 6, '64. to 173d Co., 2d Batt.. V. R. C. ; 

dis. Nov. 12, '64, ex. of s.; d. Aug. 4, '97. 
Gilford, Elbridge H. (Sergt.), 19; box-maker, Danvers; Oct. 

7, '61 ; dis. Oct. 8, '64, ex. of s. 

Gilmore, Willard, 22 ; farmer, Sherborn ; Sept. 14, '61 ; d. 

Oct. 31, '62, Newbern. 
Gordon, John, 18 ; student, Essex, N. H. ; Oct. 18, '61 ; Corp. 

Dec. 5, '61; dis. June 11, '63, for Com. as Captain, 55th 

Mass. Infantry. 
Gould, James 0., 18 ; clerk, Gloucester ; Oct. 7, '61 ; Corp. 

Feb. 1, '63; trans, to Signal Corps, Mar. 12, '64. 
Gray, Samuel B. (R), 24; artisan, Boston; Oct. 14, '62; re. 

Jan. 4, '64; k. Aug. 16, '64, Deep Run, Va. 
Greenough, Archibald (R), 22; stone-cutter, Gloucester; 

July 17 '62; re. Jan. 4, '64; Corp. June 1, '64; d. in 

Rebel Prison, Richmond, Va., Mar. 7, '65. 
Hadley, Daniel, 21; mason, Chelsea; Oct. 9, '61; desert. Dec. 

8, '61. 

Hale, Jonas, 27 ; farmer, Winchester ; Sept. 18, '61 ; dis. 
Sept. 7, '64, ex. of s. 

Company C. 483 

Hancock. Henry, 41 ; painter, Boston ; Oct. 20, '61 ; Corp. 

Dec. 1. '63; re. Jan. 4, '64; Sergt. June 1, '64: 1st Sergt. 

Oct. 28, '64 ; 2d Lieut. Aug. 18, '65 ; declined Com. ; 1st 

Lieut. Jan. 6, '66; not mustered; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 as 

1st Sergt. ; d. Aug. 30, 1902, Milford, Mass. 
Harrington, Wm. E., 35: farmer, Westboro; Sept. 7, '61; dis. 

Sept. 6. '64, ex. of s. 
Hart, Michael F. (R), 27; printer, Boston; July 24, '62; re. 

Jan. 4, '64 ; dis. Aug. 18, '65, disa. ; dead. 
Hayward, Alexander M. (Sergt.), 21; shoemaker, Reading; 

Sept. 21. '61; 1st Sergt.; re. Jan. 4, '64; prom. 2d Lieut. 

Co. B. 
Holbrook. Ellis R. (mus.), 16; shoemaker, Easton; Sept. 23, 

'61 ; dis. Aug. 28, '63, inefficiency. 
Howes, Erastus, 27 ; ship-joiner, Essex ; Oct. 19, '61 ; re. Jan. 

4, '64 ; cr. to Boston ; wd. ]\Iav 16, '64 ; trans. April 13, 

'65, to Co. G, 18th Regt. Y. R. C. ; dis. Nov. 15, '65 ; d. 

June 3, 1905, Gloucester. 
Jordan, Robert, 18 ; sailor, Essex ; Sept. 6, '61 : re. Jan. 4, 

'64; wd. Aug. 16, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Joy, Francis E., 21; shoemaker, Charlestown; Sept. 30, '61; 

d. of wounds, June 30, '62, Newbern. 
Kurr, Edward W., 26 ; teamster, Boston ; Oct. 21, '64, ex. of s. 
Larkins, Lawrence, 20 ; printer, East Boston ; Oct. 8, '61 ; dis. 

Oct. 8. '64, ex. of s. 
Lincoln, John W., 26; cabinet-maker, Northboro; Sept. 28, 

'61; re. Jan. 4, '64; Principal Mus. Sept. 9, '65. 
Loring. George A., 18 ; clerk. Boston ; Sept. 5, '61 : dis. 

Sept. 5, '64, ex. of s. 
Lufkins, Charles P., 18 ; shoemaker, Essex ; Nov. 28, '61 ; d. 

Aug. 1, '63, Hilton Head, S. C, of injury ree'd. July 25, 

'63, Morris Isle, S. C. 
McArtnev, Charles W., 27; cabinet-maker, Roxbury; Nov. 

23, '61 ; d. Sept. 22, '63, Morris Island, S. C. ; also borne 

as McCartney. 
McEmmons, Edward J., 32 ; mariner, Gloucester : Oct. 19, 

'61 ; dis. Oct. 19, '64, ex. of s. 
McFarlane, John, 18; shoemaker, Barnstable; Sept. 30, '61; 

desert. June 16, '63, Newbern. 
McGee, Edward (R), 21; cordwainer, So. Reading; July 26, 

'62; re. Jan. 4, '64; desert. Jan. 13, '65. 

484 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Mclntire, Edward E., 18; shoemaker, Essex; Nov. 28, '61; 

dis. Nov. 28, '64, ex. of s. ; d. June 16, 1896. 
McKown, Cvnis, ]8; fisherman, Boothbay, Me.; Oct. 18, 

'61; re. Jan. 4, '64; cr. to Gloucester; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
McLeary, George, 22; saddler, Greenfield; er. to Ashfield; 

Jan. 7, '65; dropped for desertion, June 5, '65. 
McMahon, John (Corp.), 28; barber, Boston; Sept. 6, '61; re. 

Jan. 4. '64; wd. Aug. 16, '64; dis. Feb. 6, '65, disa.; d. 

as John M. Baxter, , 1893, Somerville. 

McNiel, Angus, 22; teamster. Cape Breton, N. S. ; Oct. 18, 

'61 ; d. April 23, '62, Newbern. 
Mahoney, John (R), 42; laborer, Boston; cr. to Chicopee; 

Mar. 8, '65 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Maloy, Edward, 24 ; farmer, Clinton ; Sept. 7, '61 ; re. Jan, 

4, '64 ; d. Mar. 21, '64, Clinton. 
Mentzer, George, 23; farmer, Northboro; Sept. 25, '61; dis. 

Sept. 28, '64, ex. of s. ; also borne as Meutzer. 
Meyer, Ernest (Corp.), 36; jeweler, Attleboro; Sept. 12, '61; 

dis. Sept. 15, '63, disa. ; d. Dec. 7, 1899. He was Drum- 
major of the regimental band. 
Monserill, George, 29 ; bootmaker, Taunton ; Oct. 19, '61 ; dis. 

Dec. 29, '61, disa. 
Moody, Edwin A. (Corp.), 21; carpenter, Lowell; Sept. 20, 

'61 ; re. Jan. 4, '64 ; d. of wounds. May 28, '64, Hampton, 

Mullen, John (R), 20; varnisher, N. Y. City; cr. to Granby, 

Dec. 30, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Nelson, John W., 33 ; shoemaker, Wheelock, Vt. ; Oct. 23, '61 ; 

re. Jan. 4, '64; cr. to Lynn; wd. Oct. 13, '64, Darbytown 

Rd., Va. ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; d. 1904. 
Newman, James, 20; farmer, Adams; Sept. 14, '61; re. Jan. 

4, '64; cr. to Stockbridge; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Nichols, Francis H. (R), 23; clerk, Boston; Aug. 7, '62; 

prom. Q. M. Sergt. (F. & S.) May 1, '63. 
Oakley, James B., 24 ; printer, Boston ; Oct. 12, '61 ; dis. Oct. 

14, '64, ex. of s. ; also borne as Joseph B. 
O'Brien, Jeremiah (R), 34; , Gardner; Dec. 28, 

'64; desert. Dec. 28, '65. 
Osgood, Josiah A. (Corp.), 19; student, Chelsea; Oct. 18, 

'61 ; dis. Nov. 5, '62 for Com. as Capt., 47th Mass. In- 

Company C. 485 

Ostrander, Charles L., 26; engineer, Stockbridge; Sept. 17, 

'61 ; dis. Sept. 1, '64, ex. of s. 
Owens, William, 2-5 ; teamster, Boston ; Oct. 12, '61 ; re. Jan. 

4, '64 : M. 0. Jan. 20. 'm ■ d. Feb. 2. '72, Togus, Me., 

N. S. H. 
Pare, Lemuel (R), 19; laborer. Vermont; cr. to Ashford, 

Jan. 17, '65; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Parsons, Edward, 18 ; mariner, Readville : Oct. 16, '61 ; dis. 

Oct. 14, '64, ex. of s. 
Payson, John W., 21; farmer, Georgetown; re. Jan. 20, '64; 

cr. to Stockbridge; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Pepoon, Marshall W., 21; teamster, Stockbridge; Sept. 10, 

'61 ; dis. Sept. 10, '64, ex. of s. 
Perkins, Charles T. (1st Sergt.), 31; manufacturer. Salem; 

Oct. 24, '61 ; wd. Mar. 14, '62, Newbern ; prom. 2d Lieut. 

Co. K. 
Perkins, Enoch, 19 ; mariner, Damariscotta, Me. ; Oct. 18, '61 ; 

dis. April 2, '62, disa. 
Phinney, William P., 35 ; mariner, Plympton : Oct. 18, '61 ; 

Corp. July 30, '62 ; re. Jan. 4, '64 ; k. Aug. 16, '64, Deep 

Eun, Va. 
Powers, Peter, 20; factory-hand. So. Adams; Sept. 30, '61; 

wd. Mar. 14, '62; re." Jan. 4, '64; cr. to Pittsfield; dis. 

June 17, '65 ; lost right arm at Deep Run. 
Rathbum, Charles W., 21; farmer, Stockb:pdge; Sept. 14, 

'61; re. Jan. 4, '64; desert. Dec. 23, '65. 
Read, John C. (Corp.), 27; mariner, Gloucester; Oct. 12, 

'61; Sergt. Aug. 5, '62; dis. Oct. 21, '64, ex. of s. 
Risk, Robert, 18 ; shoemaker, Easthampton ; Sept. 7, '61 ; wd. 

Mar. 14, '62, Newbern; dis. Sept. 6, '66, ex. of s. 
Royal, Dudley C, 34; victualler. So. Reading; Oct. 28, '61; 

re. Jan. 4, '61 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Sanacal, Lewis (R), 33; harness-maker, Stockbridge; cr. to 

Orleans, Mar. 21, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Sargent, Albert (R), 18; mariner, Gloucester; July 18, '62; 

re. Jan. 4, '64 ; d. Aug. 16, '64, Hampton, Va. ^ 
Sargent, Rinaldo R., 29; mariner, Gloucester; Oct. 23, '61; 

re. Jan. 20, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Saunders, Robert, 35; mariner, Bucksport, Me.; Oct. 8, '61; 

dis. Nov. 26, '62, disa. 
Shepard, David, 29; shoemaker, Manchester; Oct. 21, '61; 

dis. April 20, '63, disa. 

486 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Sherman, James, -40 ; jeweler, Attleboro ; Sept. 16, '61 ; trans. 

to V. R. C. Mar. 9, '64; dis. Sept. 16, '64, ex. of s. ; d. 

Nov. 24, 1902. 
Souther, Georsre G., 22; carpenter, Quincy; Sept. 10, '61; dis. 

July 8, '63, disa. 
Stoddard, Benjamin F. (Sergt.), 21; clerk, Salem; Oct. 15, 

'61; re. Jan. 4, '64; wd. Aug. 16, '64, Deep Run ; prom. 

1st Lieut. Co. F. 
Stowell, George A. (R), 42; jeweler, Boston; July 18, '62; 

dis. Oct. 3, '62, disa. 
Thayer, Daniel A. (R), 23; boot-maker. Gloucester; July 28, 

" '62 ; d. Jan. '64, Hilton Head, S. C. 
Thayer, Ebenezer F., 29 ; teamster, Great Barring-ton ; Oct. 

'21, '61 ; dis. Dee. 9, '61, disa. 
Thomas, John, 32; jeweler, Attleboro; Sept. 9, '61: k. Mar. 

14, '62, Newborn. 
Tibbetts, Thomas Z., 19 ; fisherman, Boothbay, Me. ; Oct. 8, '61 ; 

re. Jan. 4, '64; cr. to Gloucester; d. of wounds May 16, 

'64. Hampton, Va. 
Truitt, John. 40; mariner, Gloucester; Oct. 14. '61-. re. Jan. 

4, '64; M. O. Jan. 20, '66; d. Dec. 31 '85. Tog-us, Me., 

N. S. H. 
Turner, James W. (R), 42; laborer, Boston; ]Mar. 11, '65; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; d. Mar. 25, '02, S. H. 
Weeks, Nelson, 24; mason, Stockbridge; Sept. 17. '61; re. 

Jan. 4, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Weiss. Jacob, 30 ; jeweler, Attleboro ; Sept. 12, '61 ; re. Jan. 

4, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Willis, Samuel, 24 ; mariner, Abington ; Oct. 16. '61 ; re. Jan. 

4, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Wilson, Frederick W., 31 ; draughtsman, Boston ; Sept. 4, 

'61 ; re. Jan. 4, '64 ; Sergt. -major, Nov. 4, '64 ; prom. 2d 

Lieut. June 7, '65 ; cancelled ; absent sick ; d. Oct. 1, '65, 

Wyman, AVilliam (R), 20; painter. So. Reading; Julv 23, 

'62; re. Jau. 4, '64; cr. to Melrose; wd. Aug. 14^ '64; 

dis. July 20, '65, disa. ; d. Feb. 23, 1903. 
Young, Dewitt C, 31; jeweler, Attleboro; Sept. 16. '61; dis. 

Sept. 10, '64, ex. of s. 
Young, Timothy (R), 44; mariner, Gloucester; Aug. 5, '62; 

dis. Sept. 26, '62, disa. 

Company I). 487 

Company D. 

John T. Prince, Jr.. 26 ; merchant. Boston ; Sept. 2. '61 ; res. 

Jan. 18. '63, disa. 
William Pratt, from Co. C. Mav '63— Jnne 26, '63: vid. 

Co. C. 
James B. Nichols, June 27, '63, from Co. K: dis. Sept. 1, '64, 

disa.; d. July 21. '99, Salem. Had been city auditor of 

Salem many years ; died in office. 
Davis Foster, Sept. 3, '64; prom. ]\Iajor. 


John X. Partridge, 23 : merchant. Boston : Sept. 2. '61 ; prom. 

Captain, Co. F. 
Davis Foster, July 5, '64; from Co. H: prom. Captain. 
Alvah Cloutman, Oct. 14. '64 ; from Co. D : prom. Captain, 

Co. C. 
Alexander ]\I. Hayward, Aug. 18. '65; Lieut. Ilayward had 

been discharged as Captain, the preceding May, but he 

now returns to the regiment on a second enlistment; 

M. 0. Jan. 20. '66. 
Alexander McWhirk, Jan. 20, '66 ; not mustered. 
Samuel H. Koot, Jan. 20, '66 ; not mustered. 


Thomas ^I. Sweet, 25 ; merchant, Boston ; Sept. 2. '61 ; prom. 

1st Lieut, and Adjt., Co. I. 
Oliver H. Walker, Aug. 27, '63; d. Jan. 3, '64. of wounds 

rec'd Dec. 30, '63, near St. Augustine, Fla. 
Joseph W. Hobbs. Julv 1, '65, from Co. E ; prom. Lieut. 

Co. A. 
William A. Couthony. ^lar. 14. '64; declined. 
Samuel H. Root. Jan. 20. '66 ; not mustered. 


Alden, Albert W. (R), 26; farmer. Florida: Aug. 4. '62: dis. 
Dec. 5, '64. ex. of s. 


Alden, Henry D. (or L.), 21; laborer. Adams; Sept. 5, '61; 

dis. Sept. 5. '6-4, ex. of s. ; d. May 13. 1887, Adams. 
Ayers, George W.. 28: carpenter, Somerville; Nov. 18, '61; d. 

Dec. 9. '64. Annapolis. :\ia. 
Ballou, Irving W. (R), 19; farmer, Florida; Aug. 4, '62; dis. 

Dec. 5 '64, ex. of s. ; d. Nov. 8. '93. No. Adams. 
Barnard, George H., 19; farmer, Salisbury; Oct. 31, '61; 

desert. Nov. '62, NeAvbern. 
Barnes, Frank (R), 22; clerk, Nashville, Tenn. ; cr. to Hard- 
wick; Dec. 27, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Bathrick, Alanson E., 32; farmer, ]Mendon; Sept. 6, '61; d. 

May 18, '62, Newbern. 
Beaton, William (R), 23; miner, Boston: cr. to Stockbridge; 

Dec. 8, '64 : dis. May 21, '65, disa. 
Besse, Elisha G. (Sergt.), 21; nailer. AVareham ; Sept. 24, 

'61 ; dis. June 23, '63, disa. 
Bigelow, Charles F., 21; carpenter. West Bovlston; Nov. 1, 

'61 ; dis. Nov. 11, '64, ex. of s. 
Blake, John (R), 24; iron-molder, New York; cr. to Douglas; 

en. for one year, Dec. 9, '64 ; dis. Dec. 9, '65, ex. of s. 
Bliss, George W. (R), 30; farmer, Florida; Aug. 4. '62; wd. 

Aug. 16, '64. Deep Run, Va. ; dis. Dec. 5, '64, ex. of s. 
Blood, Charles (Corp.), 36; upholsterer. Boston; Oct. 1, '61; 

dis. Oct. 1, '64, ex. of s. 
Bowen, Wilson D.. 19; carpenter. Taunton; Sept. 25, '61; re. 

Jan. 2, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Brannan, James (R), 40; cordwainer. Natick; Dec. 28, '63; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Briggs, Walter R. (Corp.). 21; clerk, Boston; Dec. 3, '61; dis. 

Dec. 3, '64, ex. of s. 
Brown, Patrick, en. Readville; Dec. 1. '61; dis. April 15, '63, 

Brown, William B. (R), 44; shoemaker. So. Reading; Jan. 2, 

'64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Burdick, Silas W. (R), 18; farmer. Blandford; Mar. 17, '64; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Burgess, Elisha H. (Corp.), 24; mariner. Sandwich; Sept. 

24, '61 ; dis. May 28, '63, disa. ; d. :\Iay 29, '03. 
Burnham, James H., 37; butcher. So. Reading; Dec. 2, '61; 

dis. Dec. 2, '64, ex. of s. 
Canning, Wm. (mus.), 15; errand-bov. Boston; Sept. 24, '61; 

d. Aug. 31. '62, AVashington. N. C. 

Company J). 


J. C. Eastman I D I. ('. T. FonHJi). T. Fanning (D). 

B. McC'ai' IB). (•.vrns(;etch('ll (D). 

Canton. Dennis. 29 : hostler, Boston ; Oct. 16, '61 ; re. Jan. 2, 

'64, as Wagoner ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Clark, Sylvester W., 20; laborer, en. Readville; Dec. 5, '61; 

k. Sept. 6, '62, Washington, N. C. ; had served in Co. H, 

5th :\r. V. I\r. May 1— Jnly 31, '61. 
Costello, Hugh. 29 ; weaver, Warren ; Sept. 30, '61 ; wd. Aug. 

16, '64, Deep Run, Va. ; dis. Nov. 1, '64, ex. of s. ; d. May 

14, '99, Boston. 
Couthony, Wm. A. (Sergt.), 19; clerk, Boston; Oct. 31, '61; 

1st Sergt. Jan. 3, '64; 2d Lieut. Mar. 14, '64; not mus- 
tered; dis. Oct. 30, '64, ex. of s. 
Cutler, Benjamin W., 24 ; clerk, Lvnn ; Nov. 25, '61 ; dis. 

Sept. 29, '62, disa. 
Daniels, Andrew J., 18 ; hatter, Boston ; Nov. 22. '61 ; d. Nov. 

18, '63, Beaufort, S. C. 

4i)() 'P\vi;\'rv-i'(»rirrii Massaciu'setts Kegi.aiext. 

Daniels, David C, 31; ('ai'i)enter. Williamstowii ; Sept. 13, 

'61 ; d. Aug. 21, '62, Washington, N. C. 
Davis, Wm. H. H. (wagoner), 21; blacksmith, (Jloucester; 

Nov. 1, '61 ; dis. Dec. 3, '64. ex. of s. 
Dempsev. James, 38; laborer, Boston; Oct. 14, '61; d. Sept. 

2, '*63, Morris Island, S. C. 
DeRibas, Louis A., 21; salesman, Boston; Nov. 29, '61; d. of 

wounds, Aug. 15, '62, Boston. 
Dodge, William H. (R), (Sergt.). 19; painter, Haverhill; 

Oct.. 26, '61 ; re. Jan. 2, '64 ; d. of wounds Oct. 23, '64, 

DeCamp Hospital, N. Y. Harbor. 
Dow, Albert S., 39; seaman, Manchester; Nov. 11, '61; d. 

Sept. 4, '63, Morris Island, S. C. 
Dowd, Edward, 21; laborer. Ware; Sept. 9, '61; dis. Sept. 9, 

'64, ex. of s. 
Doyle, Lawrence, 19 ; brass-worker ; Nov. 9, '61 ; d. April 30, 

'63, Newbern. 
Dunham, Isaac C, 19; nailer, Wareham; Oct. 18, '61; dis. 

Corp. Dec. 10, '62; Sergt. Oct. 30, '63; dis. Oct. 18, '64, 

ex. of s. 
Eastman, James C, 20; farmer, Shrewsbury; Nov. 18, '64; 

re. Jan. 2, '64; cr. to Worcester; Corp. Dee. 6, '65; AI. 0. 

Jan. 20, '66. 
Fanning, Thomas. 25 ; seaman, Lubec, .Me. ; Nov. 14. '61 ; wd. 

Aug. 16, '64 ; dis. Nov. 19, '64, ex. of s. 
Feehan, Bernard (R), 27; moi-occo-dressei-, Lynn; Nov. 26, 

'64; cr. to Raynhani; dis. Nov. 28, '65, ex. of s. ; one year 

Fitch, ■ Charles A. (R), 18; turner, Boston; Auu'. 7. '62; re. 

Jan. 2, '64; M. 0. Jan. 20, 'm. 
Fitzgerald, Francis (R). 18; })rinter. Boston; Oct. 27, '61; 

]\1. 0. Jan. 20, 'm-, d. .Mar. 2, '6^ Togus. Me.. X. S. II. 
Flynn, Thomas (R), 35; teaiuster, Saugus; Jan. 15, '65; 

desert. Oct. 16, '65. 
Folger, Isaac II. (Corp.), 19; clerk. Nantucket; Oct. i; '61; 

dis. Nov. 6, '62, disa. 
Ford, Charles T., 21 ; carpenter, Salem ; Dec. 1, '61 ; dis. Dec. 

15, '63, disa. 
Freeman, Bernard (R), 39; tinplate-maker. So. Reading; 

Dec. 31, '63; wd. .Mav 16. '64; trans, to V. R. C. April 

10, '65. 

Company D. 491 

Fuller, Isaac A. (R). 26; shoemaker, No. Turner, ^le. ; cr. to 

Abingtou; Jan. 4, '64; Corp. July 2. '65: ^I. 0. Jan. 

20, '66. 
Gammons, George N. (Serg't.), 22; iron-worker, Middleboro; 

Sept. 10, '61; d. Mar. 8, '62, Roanoke Island, N. C. 
Gammons, Phineas P., 19 ; nailer, Providence, R. I. ; Sept. 25, 

'61 ; dis. Sept. 25, '64, ex. of s. 
Gammons, Thomas G. (Corp.), 19; shoemaker. Middleboro; 

Oct. 18, '61 ; Sergt. Dec. 20, '62 ; wd. Aug. 16, '64 ; dis. 

Oct. 18, '64, ex. of s. 
Garrity, Thomas, 27; teamster, Boston; Sept. 20, '61; dis. 

Sept. 21, '63, disa.; result of wounds. 
Garrow, James J. (R), 30; mason, Boston; Aug. 5, '62; dis. 

Dec. 5, '64, ex. of s. 
Getchell, Cyrus, 21 ; carpenter, Wells, "Me. ; Dec. 4, '61 ; wd. 

Mar. 14, '62, Newbern; dis. Sept. 2, '62, disa. 
Gilbert, Robert V., 23; teamster, Warren; Nov. 2, '61; dis. 

Jan. 8, '63, disa. 
Greeley, Philip T. (R), 27; mariner, West Cambridge; Aug. 

16, '62 ; re. Jan. 2, '64 ; wd. Aug. 14, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, 

^66, had been in the Navy. 
Griswold, Theodore D., 18; porter, Pittsfield; Sept. 16, '61; 

re. Jan. 2, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Hallahan, Daniel (R), 41; laborer, Boston; Dec. 8, '64; cr. to 

Worthington ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Ham, Alvaro D. (R), 18; laborer, Lawrence; May 14, '62; 

dis. Dec. 5, '64, ex. of s. 
Ham, James D. (R), 19; clerk, Boston; Aug. 7, '62; Corp. 

Jan. 10, '63 ; dis. Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Hampton, Daniel, 25 ; factory-hand, Ware ; Sept. 7, '61 ; dis. 

Sept. 5, '64, ex. of s. 
Haskell, Wm. H., 30; farmer, Manchester; Nov. 20, '61; dis. 

May 28, '63, disa. 
Hayes, Timothy, 20 ; blacksmith, Springfield ; Sept. 4, '61 ; d. 

Dec. 6, '62, Newbern. 
Hoffman, Joseph, 35 ; painter, Boston ; Oct. 9, '61 ; dis. July 

14, '62, disa. 
Holmes, John H., 21 ; fisherman, Dresden, Me. ; Nov. 14, '61 ; 

re. Jan. 2, '64 ; cr. to Gloucester ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Jackson, Paul N. (R), 18; stone-cutter, No. Bridgewater; 

]\Iay 28, '62; re. Jan. 4, '64; wd. June 17, '64; Corp. 

July 2, '65 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 

492 Twenty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment. 

Johnson, Charles (R), 30; peddler, Boston; Dec. 20, '64; cr. 

to Chelsea; desert. Aug. 17, '65. 
Kelley, John (R), 21; cook, Watertown, N. Y. ; Dec. 30, '64; 

cr. to Granby; desert. June 11, '65. 
Kennedy, John, 38; carpenter, Roxburv; Oct. 17, '61; dis. 

Oct. 17, '64, ex. of s. 
Lane, John, 36; mariner, Gloucester; Nov. 4. '61; d. Jan. 17, 

'63, Newbern. . 
Lawton, Richard (mus.), 14, errand-bov, Boston; re. Jan. 2, 

'64; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Lee, James H., 32 ; mariner, Manchester ; Nov. 15, '61 ; d. 

Sept. 7, '62, Washington, N. C. 
Lowell, Samuel (R), 27; farmer, Phippsburg, Me.; Dec. 9, 

'63, cr. to Charlestown; M. 0. Jan. 22, '66. 
Lucas, John G., 20; farmer, Dorchester; Nov. 30, '61; Corp. 
* Dec. 5, '63 ; dis. Nov. 30, '64, ex. of s. 
Lucas, Robert T., 19; farmer, Manchester; Nov. 30, '61; wd. 

Mar. 14, '62 ; dis. Nov. 30, '64, ex. of s. 
Lurvey, Daniel H., 20 ; mariner, Gloucester ; Oct. 26, '61 ; d. 

May 2, '62, Newbern. 
McDonald, John (R), 19; sailor, St. John, N. B. ; Jan. 7, '65; 

cr. to Ashfield ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
McFee, Michael, 25; farmer, Newton; Nov. 22, '61; d. Aug. 

9, '62, Washington, N. C. 
McKenna, Daniel, 17 ; factory-hand, Pittsfield ; Sept. 5, '61 ; 

dis. Sept. 5, '64, ex. of s. 
McKean, George W., 18 ; seaman, Boston ; Nov. 14, '61 ; k. as 

Corp. Sept. 17, '64, on picket^ Petersburg, Va. 
McMahan, William, 19; factory-hand, Ware; Sept. 7, '61; 

dis. Mar. 23, '63, disa. 
McMullen, Patrick, 26; plasterer, Waltham; Sept. 17, '61; 

dis. Sept. 17, '64, ex. of s. 
McWhirk, Alexander, 18; farmer, Newburyport; Dec. 4, '61; 

re. Jan. 2, '64 ; cr. to Milton ; Corp. Nov. 15, '63 ; Sergt. 

Nov. 1, '64 ; 1st Sergt. Dec. 15, '65 ; 1st Lieut. Jan. 20, 

'66- not mustered; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
McWhirk, James (R), 18; laborer, Dorchester; Jan. 16, '65, 

cr. to Fitchburg; wd. Aug. 16, '64; Corp. Sept. 7, '65; 

M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Mahoney, Dennis, 24; farmer, Boston; Nov. 14, '61; re. Jan. 

2, '64 ; wd. Aug. 16, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20. '66 ; d. Mar. 7, 

'85, Togus, Me., N. S. H. 

Company D. 


Mahoney, John C, 33 ; laborer, Salem ; Dec. 3, '61 ; re. Jan. 

2, '64 ; wd. Oct. 7, '64, Darbytown Ed., Va. ; M. 0. Jan. 

20, '66. 
Marmo, Francis, 18 ; seaman, Fox Island, Me. ; Nov. 13, '61 ; 

d. Sept. 6, '62, Washington, N. C. 
Martin, John W., 18 ; farmer, Quincy ; Nov. 29, '61 ; re. Sergt. 

Jan. 2, '64; cr. to Milton; wd. Aug. 16, '64; prom. 1st 

Lieut. Nov. 14, '64, Co. G. 
Merrill, George W., 21; shoemaker, Salisbury; Oct. 29, '61; 

dis. Sept. 2, '62, disa., Newbern. 
Merriam, Augustus D. (R), 29; fireman, Boston; July 28, 

'62 ; dis. Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. ; dead. 

Capt. S. B. Crane (F). 

.laiiic'S Crowley (C). 

Sergt. W. A. Couthony (D). 

Metcalf, Cyrus E. (R), 24; shoemaker, No. Turner, Me.; Jan. 

4, '64; cr. to Abington; Corp. Dec. 16, '64; M. 0. Jan. 

20, '66; d. Jan. 14, '99. 
Mitchell, Wm. S. (R), 27; machinist, Boston; July 8, '62; re. 

Jan. 2, '64; desert. May 2, '64. 
Moulton, Charles T., 21; shoemaker, Salisbury; Oct. 29, '61; 

d. Jan. 17, '63, Newbern, 
Murray, David, 18 ; file-cutter, Boston ; Nov. 26, '61 ; wd. 

Aug. 16, '64 ; dis. Nov. 26, '64, ex. of s. 
Murray, Walter, 43 ; carpenter, Lynn ; Nov. 28, '61 ; dis. Nov. 

28, '64, ex. of s. 
Nute, Asa B., 18; clerk, Boston; Oct. 28, '61; wd. Aug. 16, 

'64; dis. Oct. 28, '64, ex. of s. ; d. Jan. 13, '94. 


O'Reilly, John, 23; factory -hand, Hinsdale; Sept. 5, '61; dis. 

Sept. 15, '64, ex. of s. 
'Sullivan, Thomas, 21; farmer, Ware; Sept. 7, '61; dis. 

April 20, '63, disa. ; d. July 4, 1899, S. H. 
Parker, Charles M. (R), 27; farmer, Lexington; Aug. 9, '62; 

Corp. Nov. 10, '63 ; dis. Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Parker, George W., 30 ; factory -hand, Lawrence ; Oct. 19, '61 ; 

dis. April 23, '63, disa. ; later served in Co. L, 2d H. A. 
Partridge, Charles W., 18 ; clerk, Bellingham ; Nov. 22, '61 ; 

re. Jan. 2. '64 ; Corp. Sept. 6, '64 ; wd. Oct. 7, '64, Darby- 
town Rd., Va. ; dis. June 24, '65, disa. ; result of wounds. 
Phelps, John T., 29 ; carpenter, Savoy ; Oct. 2, '61 ; wd. Aug. 

16, '64; dis. Oct. 2, '64, ex. of s. ; d. Aug. 1, 1891, Adams. 
Phelps, William J., 41; engineer, Chelsea; Nov. 13, '61; wd. 

Aug. 16, '64 ; dis. Nov. 13, '64, ex. of s. ; dead. 
Poole, Frank, 23; seaman, Gloucester; Oct. 26, '61; dis. Nov. 
. 13, '64, ex. of s. 
Reed, James W.. 19; farmer, Uxbridge ; Nov. 15, '61; dis. 

Nov. 16, '64, ex. of s. 
Riley, Thomas (R), 22; steward, Yarmouth, N. S.; Mar. 29, 

'65 ; cr. to Boston ; desert. Dec. 25, '65. 
Root, Samuel H. (R), 44; clerk, Boston; Aug. 15, '62; re. 

Jan. 2, '64; Corp. Mar. 27, '63; Sergt. Nov. 1, '64; 2d 

Lieut. Jan. 20, '66 ■ not mustered ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66. 
Rounseville, Wm. H. (Corp.), 21; carriage-maker, Mattapoi- 

sett; Oct. 1, '61; Sergt. Jan. 2, '63; dis. Oct. 1, '64, 

ex. of s. 
Rowe, Ozias N., 18; lather, Gloucester; Nov. 23, '61; dis. Nov. 

23, '64, ex. of s. 
Ryan, John (R), 28; seaman, Boston; Nov. 30, '64; cr. to 

Whately; M. O. Jan. 20, '66. 
Sargent, Winthrop, 37 ; seaman, Manchester ; Nov. 15, '61 ; re. 

Jan. 2, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; dead. 
Saunders, Charles B., 21; sawyer, Savoy; Oct. 14, '61- wd. 

Mar. 14, '62; d. Sept. 30, '63, St. Augustine, Fla. 
Scott, John H., 39; seaman, Gloucester; Nov. 21, '61; dis. 

May 2, '62, disa. 
Scott, William H., 21; mariner, Abington; Nov. 28, '61; dis. 

Nov. 28, '64, ex. of s. 
Shannahan, Daniel, 40; seaman, Boston; Nov. 27, '61; d, 

Sept. 1, '62, Washington, N. C. 

Company 1). 495 

Shepard. Thomas (K). 19; laboivi-, Toronto. ('. W. ; Dee. 20, 

'64; or. to Hadley; desert. June 11, '65. 
Smart, Ira S., 34; farmer. Williamstown ; re. Jan. 2, '64: dis. 

Sept. 30, '65, disa. 
Spear, John J[.. Jr., 27 ; mereliant, ^lilton : Dee. 5. '61 ; dis. 

Dec. 4. '64. ex. of s. : d. A])ril 14. 1893. 
Stewart, James (R), 26; painter, Boston: Jan. 13, '65; er. to 

Gill; desert. Aug. 17, '65. 
Stimson, Charles E. (R), 21; seaman, Cambridge; Jan. 14, 

'65; cr. to Charlestowu ; ]M. 0. Jan. 20, '66; had served 

3 years in the Navy. 
Stoekwell, Simeon M., 23; , Prescott; Sept. 12, 

'61 ; dis. Sept. 12, '64, ex. of s. ; also Simon 0. 
Stone, George S. (R), 40; paper-hanger, Charlestown; Aug. 

12, '62; re. Feb. 5, '64; desert. Sept. 7, '65. 
Sweeney, William, 18 ; farmer, Barre ; Sept. 25. '61 ; d. Aug. 

31, '62, Washington, N. C. 
Taylor, Albert (R), 18; farmer, Yarmouth; Feb. 24, '64; wd. 

!May 30, '64, on picket, also Aug. 16, Deep Run ; dis. 

Sept. 12, '65, disa. 
Temple, Washington H. (R), (mus.), 16; painter, Boston; 

Oct. 7, '63 ; desert. Dec. 5, '65. 
Teuney, Benjamin F. (R), 28; blacksmith, Florida; Aug. 2, 

'62; dis. Dec. 4, '64, ex. of s. 
Thomas, George W., 19 ; farmer, Nantucket ; Oct. 26, '61 ; re. 

Jan. 2, '64 ; wd. Aug. 16, '64 ; M. 0. Jan. 20, '66 ; absent 

sick at M. O. 
Tower, Houghton (R), 27; farmer, Florida; Aug. 4, '62; d. 

of wounds, Dec. 4, '64, Hampton, Va. 
Trull, George A. (R), 23; clerk, Lexington; Aug. 9, '62; dis. 

Dec. 4, .'64, ex. of s. 
Walker, Ephraim, 37 ; farmer, Williamstown ; Oct. 9, '61 ; wd. 

Mar. 14, '62; dis. May 9, '63, disa.; later, Co. D, 57th 

Mass. Infantry. 
Walker, Oliver